Charlie Crist announces $3.5M grant to Albert Whitted Airport
Albert Whitted Airport. Image via St. Pete Air.

The funds will be used to install a runway vertical guidance system and for runway rehabilitation.

Albert Whitted Airport will receive a $3.5 million grant for airport repairs and renovations, U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist announced Thursday. 

The grant for the downtown St. Petersburg airport will be provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration. The funds will be used to install a runway vertical guidance system and for runway rehabilitation.

“Albert Whitted Airport contributes to (serve) our region’s air transportation needs, providing convenient and easy access to all St. Pete has to offer, while also supporting 650 jobs,” Crist said in a news release. “I’m thrilled to see this well-deserved grant be awarded to Albert Whitted that will enhance and improve our local, city-run airport, a major economic driver for the paradise we all call home.”

Crist helped secure $18.1 billion this fiscal year for the Federal Aviation Administration as a member of the House Appropriations Committee, which handles the budget. 

The city-owned airport has undergone various multi-phase construction projects to renovate the existing runway and building structures over the past 20 years.

Currently, the city is working on a multi-phase project to add new facilities on the south side of the airfield. The project will add multiple aircraft storage facilities and replace several older buildings.

The airport employs 665 residents and provides a total economic impact of $79 million.

The Federal Aviation Administration classifies the airport as a “reliever,” general aviation airport within the National Airspace System. The 110-acre facility handles about 98,000 aircraft operations annually and has 180 based aircraft.

In addition to commercial and private flights, several organizations operate out of the local airport, including the Civil Air Patrol, Johns Hopkins All Children’s, Bayflite Medivac and various other medical transport services. 

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected].


  • Edward Lyle

    May 20, 2021 at 5:26 pm

    So Chuck convinced his pal Pete to use taxpayers funds as an illegal in-kind political campaign contribution. My 10 to your 1 says that the ink is still wet on the addendum to the Federal DoT CIP plan.

    Is there an honest investigative journalist still left in this country?

    • Joe E

      May 24, 2021 at 5:26 pm

      Actually, FAA Airport Capital Improvement Funds and Airport Improvement Funds get allocated to airports by the FAA based on an airport’s Master Plan and Capital Improvement Plan. The Funds come from Federal taxes on tickets, cargo and fuel.

      Neither Crist, nor any other Federal Representatives are involved in doling out these funds.

      They just take credit for it when the FAA simply does its job of returning tax funds to the airports that generate them, based on Airport plans that are made years in advance.

      I used to handle these funds and projects for an Airport in New York. There is no politician involvement at all.

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