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Four major airlines serve SRQ. Talks underway to keep them from departing

Negotiations are underway between the four major airlines serving Sarasota Bradenton International Airport and SRQ president and CEO Rick Piccolo to extend their operating agreements by five years each.
Negotiations are underway between the four major airlines serving Sarasota Bradenton International Airport and SRQ president and CEO Rick Piccolo to extend their operating agreements by five years each. jajones1@bradenton.com

Early indications are that the four primary airlines that serve Sarasota Bradenton International Airport are on track to extend their operating agreements.

Rick Piccolo, president and CEO of Sarasota Bradenton International Airport, began negotiations with the airlines earlier this year, seeking five-year extensions.

“All airlines agreed that the present agreement was working well and were generally pleased with the performance of the agreement,” Piccolo told members of the Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority on Monday.

Principal airlines serving SRQ are Delta, United, American and JetBlue.

“All felt a five-year extension of the existing agreement was preferred, subject to additional discussion and analysis,” Piccolo said. “The airlines are expected to provide management with a confirmation from their senior management in the near future.”

All airlines agreed that the present agreement was working well, and were generally pleased with the performance of the agreement.

Rick Piccolo, CEO and president of Sarasota Bradenton International Airport

Even if there is significant growth in air traffic at SRQ, it could be accommodated because terminal capacity is at about 50 percent.

In other business, airport authority members unanimously approved awarding an $866,168 contract to Magnum Builders of Sarasota to renovate signs and make improvements to the airport’s gateway entrance.

Included would be overhead directional roadway signs and monumental signage at the Airport Circle entrance. A 10 percent contingency would bring the total budgeted amount to $952,785.

Authority members decided not to order a video display board that would have cost an additional $370,979. Magnum was the low bidder among four firms vying for the project.

The authority also:

  • Voted to revise minimum standards for aeronautical activities at SRQ in recognition of raising the radar tower and construction of a new air traffic control tower, clearing the way for development of the northernmost 100 acres of airport property. The airport hopes to attract larger aviation operations to the property, including maintenance, repair and overhaul facilities.
  • Ranked Sweet Sparkman Architects of Sarasota first among firms vying to provide architectural and engineering design services to renovate and improve the Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting Station. The authority has budgeted $1 million for the improvements.
  • Approved awarding a $2,255,667 contract to Stellar Development to build an additional 25 T-hangars.
  • Approved the concept for constructing a new board meeting room inside the SRQ terminal in space previously occupied by the Transportation Security Administration. The authority currently meets in the Dan McClure Building, located to the west of the terminal. The new meeting space is part of a bigger project, which would eventually include expansion and improvements to airport police department, and renovation of third-story administrative office space.

James A. Jones Jr.: 941-745-7053, @jajones1

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