TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Summer is a popular time to travel and for those who fly, one option is the Tallahassee International Airport.
More and more people are choosing TLH, which just received a state award.
One of the newest Rattlers just touched down in Tallahassee for orientation. Kai Shanklin is from Washington, D.C., the site of the newest nonstop flight to and from TLH.
"We had planned at first to drive down, and we would have had to leave yesterday and then, we would've stayed overnight-- but instead, we just took a direct flight," said Shanklin, who's an incoming FAMU freshman.
Her grandmother said the flight wasn't as long as she imagined and that gives her and the family peace of mind.
"This is just like just going to Baltimore -- and that really comforts us, because we can come up here more often," said Shirley Hopkinson, Shanklin's grandmother. "It's not that expensive either."
The airport is seeing more passengers over the past year. The traffic in June 2018, 12.1 percent higher than June 2017. And for fiscal year 2018, passenger traffic up nearly 10 percent compared to this time last year.
Tallahassee commissioner Scott Maddox said the airport's ongoing upgrades are helping.
"We redid the terminal area. We've revamped how we deal with parking and the rental car area," said Maddox. "So, it is as painless as possible when going to the airport."
The Florida Department of Transportation just named TLH the Commercial Service Airport of the Year. It beat out 19 others, including Orlando, Miami and Jacksonville.
Airport officials say it's one more way the city is making a case for more options and cheaper flights.
"Your airport is a strong economic generator for the community," said David Pollard, the TLH interim airport director. "We recognize that, and we want to do our part to make sure we're providing the best levels of service that we can."
TLH is renovating its exterior and interior to improve all aspects of the flying experience, something Shanklin expects to take advantage of.
"My mom is already ready to book my ticket back home for winter break," said Shanklin.
One flight down, several more to come.
The airport received a perfect score from the Federal Aviation Administration during a safety inspection. TLH is also working on building a customs facility to start the process of bringing international flights here.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - The Tallahassee International Airport has been named the Commercial Service Airport of the Year by the Florida Department of Transportation.
The Florida Department of Transportation presented the city's airport the award in recognition of TLH's achievements in airport aesthetics, safety and service in Florida.
TLH Interim Airport Director David Pollard received the award on behalf of the City at the Florida Airports Council’s 2018 Annual Conference in Tampa this weekend.
"We are an airport on the move," Pollard said, "and this recognition certainly demonstrates that our collective efforts toward improving our airport and passenger travel experience are being recognized."
Some achievements that aided in earning this award include:
- A perfect score during its recent annual Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airport Certification/Safety Inspection, a rarity in aviation for the intensive, multi-day inspection.
- The recently completed Terminal Rehabilitation Project, which enhanced customer experience and safety elements, while updating aesthetics.
- Additionally, more than $3 million is committed for future security improvements, and another $7 million is earmarked for investment in general aviation, military and helicopter parking areas.
- Collaboration with local and state agencies to improve airport access. This includes gateway projects on major corridors and curbside and rental car facilities upgrades.
- Expanding travel options, including the new direct flight offered by American Airlines from TLH to Ronald Reagan Washington Airport (DCA) in Washington, D.C.
At TLH, passenger traffic in June 2018 saw a 12.1 percent increase over June 2017. For Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) to date, passenger traffic is 9.9 percent above this time last year. Aircraft traffic/operations have also climbed 8.8 percent to date for FY18.