Tallahassee Airport Reaches International Status
By Courtney Harris
Now that Tallahassee’s airport has its new international designation flying out of the city could be more affordable, especially for college students.
Business owners at the airport also are expecting a bump in business because of the new designation.
City officials announced on June 29 that Tallahassee’s Airport now has an international designation.
Tallahassee’s Airport already accounts for 32 percent of air passenger travel in the Northwest Florida region, but this new designation could lead to an increase not just in commercial passenger service but in the productivity of general aviation and freight carriers.
However, it’s the traffic that would come through the city that excites Nadia Langley, a restaurant manager.
“If we could get even a 1 percent increase in business because of the increase in travelers through Tallahassee it will be well worth it,” said Langley.
The new designation will not only benefit Tallahassee with additional travelers—it’s expected to increase the opportunity for new businesses in the city. But that could take time because of new construction that has to be done.
Plans include designing and building an international arrivals center to allow passengers on private flights, freight carriers and commercial air carriers to be cleared by customs and border control officials. Construction is expected to begin to the tune of $8.5 million.
According to The City of Tallahassee, the new designation is a key component in the airports long term success.
They plan to allow businesses to use the large plots of land as trade zones to bring in international goods. According to Chris Curry, director of aviation, the new jobs will generate revenue which will benefit Tallahassee’s economy.
Frequent flyer Carolyn Crall can hardly wait.
“I always fly out of Tallahassee and I’m glad they will be offering more options overall,” she said. “I’m really hoping that this will lower the taxes on the ticket prices because they’re a little pricey,” said Crall.
Of course, city officials are optimistic they’ll reap financial benefit from the airport’s international status, which means lower prices for domestic travel.
Such a prospect suits local teacher Chris White just fine.
“Well for a lot of students it’s hard to travel because it was too expensive,” said White, “so if this will help the city and make flights more affordable what’s not to like about it.”
The changes are expected to be completed over 10 years, but not too long for city commissioner, Scott Maddox, a long time advocate for changes at the airport.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Maddox.