Business

The growth of Destin-FWB airport continues to outshine Pensacola

September 21, 2017

The Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport had another phenomenal month for passenger growth. In August 2017 the airport in Okaloosa County had 41,776 more passengers than it did in August 2016 – a 47-percent jump. The Pensacola International Airport had 12,748 more passengers, an 8.9-percent increase.

Overall, Pensacola still handles more passengers than Destin-Fort Walton Beach, 155,851 to 130,878 in August, but that gap continues to narrow. In August 2016, Pensacola had 54,001 more passengers than Destin-Fort Walton Beach. The difference was cut to 24,973 passengers in August 2017.

Year-to-date, Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport has handled 200,015 more passengers compared to the first eight months of 2016 – a 32.5-percent increase. Pensacola has had 61,670 more passengers, for only a 5.7-percent jump.

From January-August 2017, the Pensacola International Airport has handled 1,143,804 passengers, while the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport has had 814,919 passengers.

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  • JACKIE September 26, 2017 at 10:33 pm

    From my experience, it’s cheaper. My family travels a lot, much of it business. Frankly, it’s cheaper to fly to California, specifically OF, from VPS. I fly to Orange County, in CA, because it’s cheaper than LAX.

    When the difference is $200-$500 people are willing to make the 90-110 minute drive.

  • Gary September 21, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    Additional comment…I love the new Y and the folks that run it….but one of the pitches was it was an economic development draw…. well I have toyed around on the fringes of that business and can honestly say I have never heard anyone ask, have you got a nice Y downtown, that would be important to us…..

  • Gary September 21, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Neither of them have a downtown core that gets the attention we give ours….I hope we are not chasing fool’s gold. The reasons for their airport traffic are in some ways unique to their military, and tourism appeal, but I sometimes think we are letting downtown developers drive the incentives, and decisions bus….. I don’t think either of them own large public civic centers or sports arenas…..incentives/tax breaks and collateral investments should be focused on bringing in real jobs by landing real prospects….just my two cents worth….