Have you ever wondered why Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport has the airport code SRQ? It's a combination of recognizable letters that have been used to designate the Sarasota-Bradenton area for the aviation world and the entire community. In 1939, government and business leaders from Sarasota and Manatee counties agreed to build an airport together, designed to serve the aviation needs of the two counties area. The best unassigned combination of letters for Sarasota-Bradenton was “SR” and then the “filter letter “Q. So around 1956, Sarasota Bradenton International Airport became SRQ.
The federal government spent several million dollars on improvements to the Sarasota Bradenton Airport during World War II and added another 250 acres to the airport's land. In May 1941, resolutions were passed to create the Sarasota Manatee Joint Airport Authority, composed of one representative from each of Sarasota, Manatee, Sarasota and Bradenton counties. Two members of the Authority had to live and represent Sarasota County and two were to live in Manatee County. Commercial airline service began in 1940 at Sarasota Bradenton Airport, but National Airlines did not serve the area for the first time until 1965. In August 1992, Sarasota County completed the connecting road located on the southeast side of the airfield, which leads to I-75 and University Parkway to the airport entrance.
In 1970, voters in Sarasota and Manatee Counties chose an elected, rather than appointed, Airport Authority, and in 1972, enabling state legislation was adopted. The FAA Control Tower (Radio Terminology Torre Sarasota) is located on the west side of the airfield, near the runway intersection. In 2000, voters in Sarasota and Manatee Counties passed legislation that changed the Airport Authority's selection process from public election from an eight-member commission to a six-member commission appointed by the governor. Today, SRQ is booming.
Between January and March, more than a million people traveled through SRQ Airport, almost 450,000 of them in March alone. It's now much easier to get to Sarasota County thanks to all the new flights added at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SRQ). Downtown Sarasota is six miles south of the airport and downtown Bradenton is ten miles north. The code has taken on a broader meaning and is often used to describe the entire Sarasota-Manatee area. It's now much easier than ever to plan a trip to Sarasota to escape the cold or spend some time at the beach this summer.