MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — New details have been released about a more than a $200 million expansion project at Sarasota Bradenton International Airport.

Airport officials say the expansion comes at a much-needed time to accommodate the growth the area is experiencing, as more people are flying in and out of Manatee County.

What You Need To Know

  •  A project to expand Sarasota Bradenton International Airport is now worth more than $200 million

  •  Once the project is complete, officials say the passenger capacity will increase 5% each year eventually leading to a 62% increase in travelers

  • The entire expansion project is estimated to be completed by December 2024

While several of the projects have been completed, officials say there are a dozen currently in process.

Once the project is done, they say the airport could grow its passenger capacity by 5% each year, eventually leading to 62% more travelers than it currently serves.

That would bring the capacity to host up to 7 million people, according to airport executive vice president and chief of staff Mark Stuckey.

“As you can see, we are building our five-gate terminal here,” Stuckey said.

That terminal is the focal point in the multi-million-dollar expansion project at the airport.

“We’ve grown from six airlines and 12 nonstop destinations, to 11 airlines and 54 nonstop destinations," he said. "So, with that growth in 2018, we had 1.3 million passengers use our airport. We expect this year we’ve had 4.3 million passengers."

And that growth is continuing to increase.

“For us, it’s been a real challenge to handle the growth we’ve seen at this airport," Stuckey said. "It’s been exciting and fun to meet the challenge to meet the service."

But even with some challenges, he said the project is worth it for a couple of reasons.

“Because of the volume of passengers, it’s increased revenue and made it less expensive for airlines to operate out of here," Stuckey said. "It’s also dropped prices of the tickets as well."

He said that since 2019, the airport has opened additional parking spaces, a new cell phone lot, expanded the fuel tank storage area, and the screening checkpoint, among other additions.

“I think it’s a great thing," he said. "We need the extra space and gates."

The entire expansion project is estimated to be completed by December 2024. Funding for the project came from the Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority and grant money.