City: Pensacola airport, port rebounding after tough year

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City: Pensacola airport, port rebounding after tough year

City: Pensacola airport, port rebounding after tough year

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — New flights added at the Pensacola International Airport and good import numbers at the Port of Pensacola were discussed at a press conference Monday morning.

The press conference was hosted by Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson.

The Pensacola International Airport and Port of Pensacola are both bustling and recovering this year after dips in business during the peak of the pandemic and Hurricane Sally in 2020, according to their leaders.

“When we’re an enterprise fund and we get our revenue from people coming in the front door and the airlines, you lose 92% of that overnight, that has a devastating impact,” Pensacola International Airport Director Matt Coughlin said of the COVID-19 pandemic. “As of April of this year, we’ve surpassed our 2019 numbers and like I said, those were record years.”

The Port of Pensacola has seen numbers not seen in a decade.

“Our total tonnage was up 13% year to year, so we were up 250,000 tons this year, which is an increase from the year before in 2020,” Port of Pensacola Director Clark Merritt said.

Both the airport and the port expect even more growth soon.

Coughlin announced Monday Delta Airlines will add a nonstop direct flight to LaGuardia Airport in Queens, New York starting December 18th. As more people come to the airport, the staff is planning on new facilities.

“One of the things we’re looking at right now is a new concourse. That’s typically a three- to the five-year planning process,” he said.

The port is still recovering from Hurricane Sally but has managed to become the 9th busiest port in Florida, according to Merritt, and is only looking to grow more.

“Our port revenues were about $3 million (in fiscal year 2021), which doesn’t sound like a lot of money but it is for us,” he said. “We were hit pretty hard by Sally, but we’re bouncing back.”

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