For Full Story: Orlando Sentinel

Article By: Martin E. Comas

 

Gary Walker has flown out of Orlando Sanford International Airport to Mississippi nearly every month for years.

Walker is among a fast-growing number of Central Florida travelers who prefer flying from the small Sanford airport, which is on pace to handle 3 million passengers for the first time this year, airport officials announced this week. That’s a nearly 3 percent jump from last year and a 63 percent increase from 2008.

“In 2013, we reached 2 million passengers and that was a great achievement for us, and we were very excited about that,” said Diane Crews, the airport’s president and chief executive officer. “Now here we are, just five years later, reaching 3 million. …So we’re very excited about our growth.”

Airport officials are considering holding a celebration in the airport when that 3 millionth passenger walks through.

Crews said she expects the passenger count at the Sanford airport to continue to grow about 5 percent annually.