Community Benefits of Albert Whitted Airport

10 Benefits

1. Keeps jobs in our city

2. Brings business to St. Pete

3. Makes economic sense for our city

4. Great national historical significance

6. A very safe airport

7. A great recreational asset

8. A critical base for Bayflight

9. One of the nation's critical reliever airports

10. Platform to base Emergency equipment and aid

1. Albert Whitted keeps jobs in our city

An official city-sponsored survey says nearly 300 people directly and indirectly earn their livelihood through jobs created by public and private enterprise connected with this airport.

2. Albert Whitted brings business to St. Pete.

This airport is extremely valuable for attracting commerce to the heart of our downtown. Companies such as Templeton Funds, Bankers Insurance, Smith Fence Co., Bama Seafood Products and JMC Communities, to name a few, have found Albert Whitted to be convenient for corporate travel. St. Petersburg/Clearwater and Tampa International are about the same distance away -- nearly a 25-minute drive, if there's no traffic backups. Albert Whitted is just minutes away from almost any building in our downtown. Albert Whitted also attracts tourism. Every week, pilots from all over the country land here to enjoy the many recreational benefits of our area, and to support our local businesses.

3. Albert Whitted Airport makes a strong economic impact.

300 jobs directly attributed to the airport, which translates into $6.7 million in payroll. Albert Whitted Airport is responsible for $21 million contributed into Florida's economy on a recurring annual basis.
(source: Economic Benefit Analysis of Albert Whitted Airport conducted for the City by LPA Group, Inc.)

4. Albert Whitted Airport has great national historical significance.

It is the birthplace of scheduled airline flight. The Benoist Flights to Tampa from St. Pete were flown from a nearby basin beginning in 1914. The first successful airline, National Airlines, originated from this airport in 1934.

5. Albert Whitted is a great recreational asset for the citizens of our city.

Many folks who don't fly, love to observe the wonder of aviation by watching aircraft of all types takeoff and land at this unique facility. For those wanting to learn to fly, Albert Whitted has a flying club with many talented instructors. The Experimental Aircraft Association sponsors educational seminars here and it's Young Eagles program allows school-aged kids to experience their first flight in an airplane, free of charge. Hundreds of St. Pete's kids have taken advantage of this program during the past several years.
Contrary to popular belief, people from all walks of life and all types of financial situations fly airplanes. Many pilots rent inexpensive planes from flying clubs while others utilize joint ownership to cut the cost. A talented few even build their own.

You don't have to be rich to fly. Many people don't realize that some airplanes cost less than boats or automobiles. Albert Whitted attracts pilots -- rich, poor and in-between -- because this airport offers many benefits not found anywhere else in the country. There's nearly year-round flying, nearby restaurants and hotels, beautiful shoreline views, enticing sunsets and short rides to many great tourist destinations within the state.

6. Albert Whitted Airport is a great place for pilots to learn to fly.

Every year hundreds of pilotsboth private and professionalearn their wings and ratings here.

7. Albert Whitted is a very safe airport.

With most of our runways exiting to the water and our new good neighbor policy in place, very few takeoffs and landings occur over downtown neighborhoods.

8. Albert Whitted is designated by the FAA as one of the nation's critical reliever airports.

Albert Whitted is designated by the Federal Aviation Administration as one of the nation's few critical reliever airports. That means this airport is crucial to relieving the general aviation traffic at Tampa International, St. Petersburg Clearwater International and Sarasota International. Among other benefits, this keeps training and recreational flights separated from large, fast flying, passenger carrying airliners. This is crucial to our area's flight safety and for smooth, expedient air traffic at busy commercial airports like Tampa International.

9. Albert Whitted is a critical fueling and maintenance base for Bayflight.

Bayflight is Tampa Bay's life saving air rescue service and it's based at Albert Whitted. West Florida Helicopter, based at Whitted, also provides critical maintenance for other similar rescue services like Bayflight including the Florida Highway Patrol.

10. Albert Whitted provides a valuable platform for emergency aid.

Albert Whitted airport provides an expansive, easily accessible platform to base Emergency equipment and aid during and after a devastating storm, hurricane or other emergency. Our congested downtown offers no other area to base such an operation. Emergency personnel and airport staff from the Tamiami Airport near Miami said their airport was critical for relief efforts during Hurricane Andrew.

© Albert Whitted Airport Preservation Society
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