May 30, 2023
Northwest Florida's four major airports all had record traffic in 2021

Photo: John Blackie/USA Today Network

Matt Coughlin, Director, Pensacola International Airport

Economic Backbone: Transportation

Northwest Florida's four major airports all had record traffic in 2021

Carlton Proctor | 5/31/2022

Pensacola International Airport

2021 PASSENGERS: 2,324,044

Total passenger counts during 2021 exceeded 2019’s record-setting numbers by nearly 90,000.

Airport Director Matt Coughlin attributes much of the growth to a jump in tourism brought on, in large part, by the airlines marketing Pensacola.

In addition to Pensacola’s record passenger numbers, the airport is tied with Newark Liberty International for having the lowest average passenger fares — 30% below the national average, Coughlin says.

Tallahassee International Airport

2021 PASSENGERS: 656,192

Construction is underway on a $28-million international passenger processing facility that will provide a passenger port-of-entry and a federal inspection station for the airport along with other improvements to accommodate international flights. Mayor John Dailey described the project as a “game changer” that could bring about international cargo shipping.

Destin Fort Walton Beach Airport

2021 PASSENGERS: 1,998,587

The airport reported a 20% increase in passengers during 2021 compared to 2019’s record total of 1,673,226. The airport's airlines include Allegiant, American, Delta and Southwest, which provide nonstop flights to Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Denver and Washington, D.C.

Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport

2021 PASSENGERS: 1,598,492

Panama City’s airport saw a 33% passenger growth spurt in 2021 from the year before. As with other Northwest Florida airports, tourism was the biggest factor in the record-breaking numbers. The airport continues to add carriers and passenger capacity and is serviced by American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines.

Tags: Transportation, Northwest, Feature

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