Punta Gorda Airport

R E BORN AND H I GH F LY I NG W hat if a disaster was the impetus for growth? Imagine having a clean slate from which to create a better organization. Well, that is exactly what happened at the Punta Gorda Airport in Charlotte County, Florida. “Like most airports in Florida,” begins James Parish, Punta Gorda Airport’s CEO, “we’re a former military training base from World War II. We opened in 1943, and just celebrated our 75th anniversary last year. We transitioned from a military training facility to a general aviation airport in 1945, but the Airport sat unmanaged for the majority of the first 30 years of its life. The county took over and then, quickly after that, gave it to an airport authority. So we’re governed by the elected, five-person, Charlotte County Airport Authority Board. The Authority, when it was first conceived, had taxing authority and the Airport was flourishing. We lost our taxing authority in the early ‘90s and went through a period of – what do you call it – penny- pinching.” AT A GLANCE PUNTA GORDA AIRPORT WHAT: A commercial and general aviation airport WHERE: Charlotte County, Florida WEBSITE: www.flypgd.com