With iconic landmarks like Disney World, the Keys, the Everglades, and so much more, it should come as no surprise that Florida is one of the most touristic places in the United States.
As a result, millions of foreign and domestic travelers make their way to the Sunshine State each year, many of whom fly in.
If you’ve ever wondered about the biggest and busiest airports in Florida, look no further.
We’ve compiled a list of the 25 biggest airports in Florida by enplanements, which ranks each airport by the number of commercial passenger boardings.
Table of Contents
- The Biggest Airports in Florida
- 1. Orlando International Airport: 23,202,480
- 2. Miami International Airport: 21,021,640
- 3. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport: 17,612,331
- 4. Tampa International Airport: 10,378,514
- 5. Southwest Florida International Airport: 4,602,113
- 6. Palm Beach International Airport: 3,270,605
- 7. Jacksonville International Airport: 3,135,508
- 8. Orlando Sanford International Airport: 1,504,888
- 9. St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport: 1,115,886
- 10. Pensacola International Airport: 972,081
- 11. Eglin AFB/Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport: 813,600
- 12. Punta Gorda Airport: 787,022
- 13. Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport: 685,001
- 14. Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport: 683,759
- 15. Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport: 512,423
- 16. Key West International Airport: 446,005
- 17. Tallahassee International Airport: 384,136
- 18. Daytona Beach International Airport: 366,967
- 19. Melbourne Orlando International Airport: 234,939
- 20. Gainesville Regional Airport: 233,955
- 21. NAS Jacksonville: 12,679
- 22. Vero Beach Regional Airport: 10,314
- 23. Naples Municipal Airport: 2,212
- 24. Northeast Florida Regional Airport: 2,180
- 25. Hurlburt Field: 2,109
The Biggest Airports in Florida
|1||Orlando International Airport||23,202,480|
|2||Miami International Airport||21,021,640|
|3||Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport||17,612,331|
|4||Tampa International Airport||10,378,514|
|5||Southwest Florida International Airport||4,602,113|
|6||Palm Beach International Airport||3,270,605|
|7||Jacksonville International Airport||3,135,508|
|8||Orlando Sanford International Airport||1,504,888|
|9||St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport||1,115,886|
|10||Pensacola International Airport||972,081|
|11||Eglin AFB/Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport||813,600|
|12||Punta Gorda Airport||787,022|
|13||Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport||685,001|
|14||Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport||683,759|
|15||Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport||512,423|
|16||Key West International Airport||446,005|
|17||Tallahassee International Airport||384,136|
|18||Daytona Beach International Airport||366,967|
|19||Melbourne Orlando International Airport||234,939|
|20||Gainesville Regional Airport||233,955|
|22||Vero Beach Regional Airport||10,314|
|23||Naples Municipal Airport||2,212|
|24||Northeast Florida Regional Airport||2,180|
1. Orlando International Airport: 23,202,480
Coming in at number one on the list is the Orlando International Airport.
In 2019 the airport (code MCO) boarded over 23 million passengers, making it one of the busiest airports in the entire country.
With attractions like Walt Disney World, the Magic Kingdom, Universal Studios, Epcot, and more, it’s no wonder that so many visitors are drawn to Orlando.
Add in world-class restaurants, chic hotels, and a booming business district, and you’ve got a recipe for success when it comes to a vacation in Orlando.
Unfortunately, busy airports are not always regarded as the best airports, and MCO has a bad reputation for long wait times.
It is also considered difficult to get to, and the available restaurants and retail stores do not earn it any favors. The good news? Exceptionally clean bathrooms.
2. Miami International Airport: 21,021,640
Runner up for the biggest airport in Florida by enplanements is the Miami International Airport. In 2019, MIA saw over 21 million enplanements, coming in second only to Orlando International Airport.
Miami International Airport is an extremely busy hub, with thousands of daily international flights and hundreds of domestic flights.
The airport is located near the main downtown area, meaning that traffic can be an issue. To avoid congested roads, you could always hop on a train or bus and get off at the Miami Airport Station.
Just like the Orlando International Airport, passengers have their grievances with MIA. Check-in and security lines are infamous for being lengthy, and the overall facilities are a bit dated.
If that weren’t enough, the gate layout is extremely confusing. If you are flying out of Miami International Airport, be sure to allocate plenty of extra time to navigate through these difficulties!
3. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport: 17,612,331
The Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport rounds out Florida’s top three biggest airports, with over 17.6 million enplanements recorded in 2019.
The city of Fort Lauderdale is a huge transportation hub, and many people fly in and out of the airport for cruises and other ocean-centric vacation plans.
The airport itself (FLL) is just three miles southwest of downtown Fort Lauderdale, making it easy to access for passengers. Over 700 international and domestic flights leave from FLL each day across four different terminals.
One of the biggest complaints about the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is the lack of dining and retail options.
That being said, improvements and additions are continually being made, and FLL may soon be a more fun place to wait around for your flight.
Wait times are also considerable, but not as noteworthy as those at the Miami International Airport.
4. Tampa International Airport: 10,378,514
Tampa International Airport is the fourth biggest airport in Florida by enplanements and the last one on the list to top over 10 million enplanements in the year 2019.
TPA is located just over six miles from downtown Tampa and has a glistening reputation amongst passengers.
Tampa International Airport receives high marks for its easy navigability, which is mostly due to the fact that it is much smaller than some of the other main hubs in Florida.
It is also one of just two airports in the entire country that charters regular flights to Cuba.
Other perks about TPA include a chapel, a shoeshine area, designated pet relief areas, and plenty of variety when it comes to restaurants and retail.
5. Southwest Florida International Airport: 4,602,113
The Southwest Florida International Airport is located in Fort Meyers and recorded 4.6 million enplanements in the year 2019.
Despite being the third-largest airport in the United States by physical size (13,555 acres), RSW sees significantly less air traffic than some of the other top airports in the state.
This is most likely due to the fact that the Southwest Florida International Airport has a single runway, while all of its predecessors have between two and four runways.
As the name suggests, the Southwest Florida International Airport mainly serves those living in or traveling to Southwest Florida, specifically Fort Meyers, Naples, Cape Coral, and Bonita Springs, among others.
6. Palm Beach International Airport: 3,270,605
Palm Beach International Airport comes in at number six of the biggest airports in Florida in terms of enplanements.
This airport saw about 3.2 million enplanements in the year of 2019 and serves as the main airport for West Palm Beach (where it is located) along with the suburbs and cities of Wellington, Palm Beach Gardens, Delray Beach, Jupiter, Boynton Beach, and Boca Raton.
Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) is technically located in the greater Miami metropolitan area, which is likely why it sees less traffic than the two other major airports in this area: Miami International Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
While it may be less crowded than some of the larger airports, Palm Beach International Airport actually ranked amongst the top ten airports around the world on Conde Nast Traveller’s Reader’s Choice Awards in 2020.
7. Jacksonville International Airport: 3,135,508
Jacksonville International Airport was neck in neck with Palm Beach International Airport when it came to enplanements in 2019, recording about 3.1 million enplanements.
This civil-military public airport is located about 13 miles north of downtown Jacksonville and serves the greater metropolitan area.
Business is booming, and a new concourse is set to open as early as this year (2022) due to increased traffic and demand.
The military facilities at JAX are the result of the closure of the Imeson Airport in 1968. Today this area of the airport is basically a small Air Force base with about 300 full-time and over 1,000 part-time military personnel.
The only thing it’s missing is the infrastructure like housing, a military hospital, and other typical U.S. Air Force installations.
8. Orlando Sanford International Airport: 1,504,888
The Orlando Sanford International Airport is located in Sanford, Florida, and serves as the Orlando metropolitan area’s secondary airport.
The airport recorded about 1.5 million enplanements in 2019, making it the eighth biggest in Florida in terms of boardings.
Although Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) has four runways, it sees considerably less traffic than the Orlando International Airport.
This is most likely due to the fact that MCO is located in closer proximity to Orlando and all of its attractions. It could also be because SFB offers mostly domestic flights, although it does have some international flights as well.
9. St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport: 1,115,886
The St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport is located in Pinellas County, about six miles north of St. Petersburg.
PIE recorded about 1.1 million enplanements in 2019, making it the ninth-largest Florida airport in terms of passengers boarded.
St. Pete-Clearwater International serves the greater Tampa Bay area and is the secondary airport after the Tampa International Airport.
While it may not be the largest or grandest airport in the state, St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport has a long and rich history.
In 1914 the very first commercial flight departed from St. Petersburg and landed in Tampa.
This kick-started air travel around the world, and while the current airport was not yet built, the event is commemorated with a replica of the aircraft in the baggage area.
The current airport was constructed in 1941, and after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, it was acquired by the United States Army Air Forces.
After the conclusion of the second world war, the airport was returned to Pinellas County, hence the code PIE (as PIA was already taken).
10. Pensacola International Airport: 972,081
Rounding out the top ten biggest airports in Florida by enplanements is the Pensacola International Airport. In 2019 PNS had just over 972,000 enplanements, making it the first on our list to come below the 1 million mark.
Even so, Pensacola International Airport is one of the main airports in the northern Florida area, in addition to Jacksonville International Airport and the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport, among others.
While it is technically an international airport, PNS does not have any regularly scheduled international flights. That being said, chartered international flights are not uncommon out of Pensacola International airport.
11. Eglin AFB/Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport: 813,600
Situated in Florida’s western Panhandle about 5 miles southwest of Valparaiso, the Eglin Airforce Base and its co-airport, Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport, is the 11th biggest airport in Florida by enplanements.
The base opened at the onset of the second world war, and before that, it was part of the Choctawhatchee National Forest.
The base has grown significantly over the years, and today it houses five major units, a research laboratory, and numerous tenant units.
Unlike the other airports on our list, the Eglin AFB is used mostly for military use.
It does have a small co-airport, the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (VPS), which offers scheduled passenger flights to major cities like Atlanta, Dallas, and Charlotte, among others.
12. Punta Gorda Airport: 787,022
The Punta Gorda Airport is a small airport located in western Florida’s Charlotte County. For much of its history, it was used mostly for general aviation, but in recent years it has expanded to include more scheduled airline services.
This has made it 12th on the list of Florida’s largest airports in terms of enplanements.
In 2007 this small airport added an additional terminal to keep up with the growing number of passengers, and today Allegiant Air and Sun Country carry passengers to dozens of locations around the United States.
13. Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport: 685,001
Situated between the two cities it was named for, the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport is a small hub in western Florida used mostly for general aviation.
There are also regularly scheduled flights in and out of Sarasota-Bradenton, most of which are domestic. The only international services out of this airport are seasonal flights to Toronto, Canada.
Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, like many other airports across the world, saw a decline in traffic during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, several new flight routes have been added and the airport plans to continue expanding in the future.
14. Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport: 683,759
As mentioned above, the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport is the co-airport to the Eglin Air Force Base. When you look at numbers solely for the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport, it is the 14th biggest airport in Florida by enplanements.
In 2019, this small airport recorded nearly 700,000 enplanements.
15. Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport: 512,423
The Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport is one of the newest airports in Florida. ECP first opened its doors in 2010, and in 2019 it recorded about 512,000 enplanements.
As the name suggests, the airport mainly serves the northwest Florida beaches area, specifically Panama City Beach – a popular spring break destination.
Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport was the first international airport in the country to be built after the infamous September 11 attacks.
The new airport replaced the old Panama City-Bay County Airport.
Although it does not currently offer any international flights, there is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspection facility located inside the airport, which allows it to keep its international airport status.
16. Key West International Airport: 446,005
Located in the City of Key West, the southernmost city in the United States, the Key West International Airport is the 16th largest airport in Florida in terms of enplanements.
It’s not easy building airports on small keys surrounded by water, so planes leaving EYW must adhere to strict weight restrictions due to the short runway.
The first flight from Key West occurred in 1913 when Augustin Parla flew to Cuba. Scheduled flights from Key West began back in 1928, and the Key West Airport played a critical role during World War II due to its strategic location.
While today it is technically an international airport, most flights going in and out of Key West are domestic.
17. Tallahassee International Airport: 384,136
The Tallahassee International Airport is one of the main airports in Florida’s panhandle region. In 2019 the airport recorded over 384,000 enplanements, making it the 17th biggest airport in Florida by enplanements.
TLH serves Florida’s capital city (Tallahassee), in addition to other surrounding cities and suburbs.
The airport has two runways, and most of the traffic in and out comes from general aviation rather than scheduled passenger flights. Despite the title, Tallahassee International Airport currently only flies to domestic locations.
Some of the top destinations include Atlanta, Charlotte, and Dallas.
18. Daytona Beach International Airport: 366,967
DAB, or Daytona Beach International Airport, sees almost as many enplanements as the Tallahassee International Airport, with 366,967 enplanements in 2019.
With huge attractions like the Daytona International Speedway and the party-centric Daytona Beach, it’s surprising that the city doesn’t see more passenger flights.
Whatever the reason, Dayton Beach Intentional Airport is mostly used for general aviation. Passenger flights only account for 2% of traffic, and currently, only flights between Charlotte, Dallas, and Atlanta are offered.
In 2022, two new flights are planned to leave from DAB to Detroit and Washington D.C.
There are also numerous flight schools located at Daytona Beach International Airport, along with a few fixed-base operators.
19. Melbourne Orlando International Airport: 234,939
Previously known as the Orlando Melbourne International Airport, the Melbourne Orlando Airport went through a recent name change in 2021 due to a lawsuit claiming that the name was misleading.
MLB recorded nearly 235,000 enplanements in 2019, making it the 19th largest airport in Florida by enplanements.
While Melbourne Orlando International Airport currently only serves a few domestic locations, the new arrival of TUI (a British charter airline) means that the airport will soon have scheduled flights to several UK locations including London, Edinborough, Glasgow, and more.
20. Gainesville Regional Airport: 233,955
The Gainesville Regional Airport is another northern Florida hub, and it is the 20th largest airport in the state in terms of enplanements.
Located about three miles northeast of Gainesville, this small airport reported 233,955 enplanements in 2019. GNV serves just 4 domestic locations: Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, and Miami.
Aside from passenger flights, the Gainesville Regional Airport also hosts the Gator Fly each year in the general aviation section of the airport.
This event draws people from near and far and offers up some fun and unique activities including military aircraft displays, live music, food trucks, old car shows, and even some aircraft rides.
21. NAS Jacksonville: 12,679
Also known as Tower Field, the Naval Air Station Jacksonville (or NAS Jacksonville) is the 21st largest airport in Florida by enplanements.
Because this Naval Air Station does not serve civilians or have any regularly scheduled flights, the low number of enplanements (12,679 in 2019) is not surprising.
This number may seem incredibly low compared to some of the other airports on our list, but when you consider the fact that only military personnel fly in and out of NAS Jacksonville makes it a bit more impressive.
NAS Jacksonville is one of the main Naval hubs in the south, with more than 50,000 employees including civilians, contractors, and active-duty personnel.
There is even a naval hospital, an aviation maintenance training facility, a fleet industrial supply center, recreational facilities, and more.
22. Vero Beach Regional Airport: 10,314
Vero Beach Regional Airport is located in eastern Florida about one mile east of Vero Beach. It is the final airport on our list of the biggest airports in Florida by enplanements to top the 10,000 mark.
During the Second World War, Vero Beach Regional Airport was selected by the U.S. to serve as a temporary naval air station. It remained a part of the Navy until 1947 when it was returned for civilian use.
Currently, there are scheduled flights from VRB to a dozen locations within the United States, including Los Angeles (LAX), Seattle (SEA), and Chicago (ORD).
23. Naples Municipal Airport: 2,212
With just over 2,000 enplanements recorded in 2019, the Naples Municipal Airport is Florida’s 23rd biggest in terms of enplanements. The airport is located in southwestern Florida about two miles northeast of Naples.
Originally, the airport was used as an Army airfield, primarily for basic and flight training.
In 1947, the army deemed the area unnecessary, and shortly afterward the Naples Municipal Airport began offering limited passenger flights to Miami, Tampa, Orlando, and a few other Florida cities.
Today APF does not offer any regularly scheduled flights and is used almost exclusively for general aviation. However, it does house several flight schools, air charter operators, car rental agencies, businesses, and public services.
24. Northeast Florida Regional Airport: 2,180
The Northeast Florida Regional Airport sits just outside of the historic town of St. Augustine in the northeastern part of Florida. While the airport boasts two runways and three seaplane lanes, it only recorded 2,180 enplanements in 2019.
This is mostly due to the fact that 90% of the traffic at Northeast Florida Regional Airport is general aviation, and just 1% accounts for scheduled commercial flights.
Other traffic flowing through this northeastern port includes military and air taxis. It is also used for houses hundreds of air crafts, including helicopters, single engines, military, multi engines, and jet air crafts.
25. Hurlburt Field: 2,109
Located in Florida’s western panhandle outside of the tiny town of Mary Ester, Hurlburt Field is a United States Air Force installation.
It is part of the Eglin Air Force Base (mentioned above) and in 2019 it recorded 2,109 enplanements, earning the 25th spot on the list of Florida’s biggest airports by enplanements.
Hurlburt Field has a variety of facilities, including Base housing, a launch site for drones, and an award-winning dining facility that has won the Air Force’s award for best dining facility nine times.