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Fort Myers airport sees largest increase in traffic statewide

By NATHAN MAYBERG - | May 21, 2024

The Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers saw the largest increase in traffic in the first quarter of this year statewide, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced.

The airport saw an increase of 25% in the first three months of the year compared to last year.

According to figures from the Lee County Port Authority, there were 3.8 million passengers on planes going through the Fort Myers airport in the first quarter of 2024 compared to 3,066,754 in the first quarter of last year.

The month of March saw the second-most passengers recorded in a single month at the Southwest Florida International Airport with 1.5 million passing through. That was approximately 4,000 off the record in March of 2022.

Overall, the number of passengers going through the Fort Myers airport was down last year, dropping from a record of 10,343,802 in 2022 to 10.07 million in 2023.

The numbers released by the governor’s office showed that Florida had more than 140 million visitors last year, which the state considers a record. For the first three months of the year, the state tallied an estimated 40.6 million visitors.

“Once again, Florida leads the nation as an unrivaled destination for tourists,” DeSantis said. “These record-breaking numbers show that our work has made the free state of Florida even more attractive to visitors.”

Last year’s tourism numbers marking an increase of 2.3% from 2022’s record-breaking figure. Of those visitors, 129.1 million were domestic visitors along with 8.3 million overseas visitors and 3.2 million Canadian visitors.

For the first quarter of the year, the number of air visitors was estimated at 38%, while non-air visitors was estimated at 62%.

Total enplanements at 19 Florida airports increased by 9.4% in Q1 2024 from Q1 2023, climbing to 30.2 million.

Orlando International was the state’s busiest airport with 7.6 million enplanements (+6.8%), followed by Miami with 7.5 million (+12.1%).