Published: October 2023

The Federal Aviation Administration’s Southern Region Airports Division has named Fredrick J. Piccolo, AAE, President, Chief Executive Officer of the Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority, the 2022 Air Carrier Airport Manager of the Year.  This award is given to an airport professional who exemplifies excellence in airport management, demonstrates exceptional leadership, tirelessly works to promote the aviation industry, and has achieved efficiencies and improved productivity in their organization.

Recognizing his achievements, the award emphasizes Piccolo’s aptitude for guiding the airport through unprecedented passenger growth, marked by an outstanding increase of 46% over 2021 and 155% over 2020.  From 2018 through 2022, the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport grew from 6 airlines and 12 nonstop destinations to 11 airlines and 54 nonstop destinations. 

During this time, Piccolo ensured the design and construction of multiple projects to meet the growth of the airport, including an expansion of the screening checkpoint from four to six lanes which increased efficiency by 33%; enlarging the long-term, shade, and overflow parking lots; adding a new paved cell phone lot with amenities; quadrupling the on-site fuel storage capacity; and the groundbreaking and construction of a new 5-gate terminal.

Piccolo has been successful in obtaining FAA, FDOT, and State grant money to help pay for several expansion projects, allowing the airport to remain debt free.  The pay-as-you-go philosophy Piccolo instituted after paying off the airport’s bond debt in 2014 has allowed the airport to keep its rates and charges low, resulting in increased demand by airlines to serve the airport. 

“I am very grateful and humbled to receive this award from the FAA Southern Region Division.  This is a testament to a supportive Board combined with a great team of employees and tenants at the airport who work diligently every day to make our users’ journey safe, secure, and as stress-free as possible, especially during this period of unprecedented growth at SRQ,” said Rick Piccolo, President, CEO.

Piccolo has been President, CEO of the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport since 1995 and has served as Chairman with state, national and international aviation organizations. This is his second time being named FAA Air Carrier Airport Manager of the Year – he was honored with this award in 2005. Locally, Piccolo serves on numerous business, charitable and educational boards. He also serves on the University of South Florida Board of Trustees.

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Fredrick J. Piccolo, President, CEO
Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ)
Tel. (941) 359-2770, extension 4200