Column by Punta Gorda Airport CEO James W. Parish, P.E.
CHARLOTTE SUN (March 5, 2018) – This year is an exciting year for the Punta Gorda Airport. In fact, the airport will be celebrating its 75th year in existence since the Army Air Corps activated the Punta Gorda Army Airfield in 1943 to train combat pilots for overseas duty in World War II.
The airport’s operations have grown into a catalyst where business, aviation and tourism is fostered – generating more than $350 million in economic impacts for our southwest Florida communities.
We are fortunate to have Allegiant as our partner providing non-stop service to over 40 cities. However, increased passenger traffic also means the ticketing counters and security screening stations will be very busy on mornings when five to seven flights leave between 6:30 and 8 a.m.
Here are a few suggestions to make your flight out of Punta Gorda, or any airport, less stressful.
1. Enroll in TSA PreCheck. For TSA Precheck travelers, there is no need to remove shoes, liquids of 3.4 ounces or less, laptops, light outerwear or belts. Since Charlotte County does not have a permanent enrollment location, we’re pleased to host a mobile enrollment center at the Punta Gorda Airport in the short-term parking lot across from the Bailey Terminal on Monday March 5 – Thursday March 15 from 9 a.m. -12 p.m and 1p.m. – 5 p.m. (Closed Saturday & Sunday), and on Friday March 16 from 9 a.m. -12 p.m. Make your enrollment appointment online at www.identogo.com/rv.
2. Be Ready for Screening. If you do not have Precheck, travelers are now required to take out all electronics larger than a cell phone in bins for X-ray screening when going through the security checkpoint. Travelers without TSA Precheck should continue to remove their one-quart bag containing liquids, gels and aerosols in quantities of less than 3.4 ounces.
3. Arrive Early. Since Punta Gorda is an originating airport for Allegiant, its’s especially important baggage is checked early so the following flights can stay on schedule throughout the day. If you have an early morning flight please arrive two hours ahead of your flight.
4. Check in with Allegiant. Passengers are required to check in to get their boarding passes starting 24 hours before and up to 45 minutes prior to scheduled flight departure. Use www.AllegiantAir.com to check in and print your paper boarding passes to bring to the airport, or download the free Allegiant mobile app to get your paperless boarding passes.
As the airport grows and evolves, we look forward to sharing quarterly columns from our leadership to keep you up to date on new opportunities and changes. Please visit www.flypgd.com and follow the Punta Gorda Airport on Facebook and Twitter to stay in the loop with the latest news. While the airport has diverse audiences, ranging from out-of-state visitors, new air service providers and businesses that may relocate here, we know that the support of our local residents and business community is essential to our continued success.