Tallahassee Airport begins direct flights to South Florida

Tallahassee Regional Airport has began to offer direct flights to Fort Lauderdale Airport.

The flights are conducted by Silver Airways and gives the Tallahassee community more options with air travel. This upgrade was the first in a series of upgrades that Tallahassee Regional Airport hopes to make in the near future. These flights will start on Feb. 12.

Until now, flights to Fort Lauderdale included a stop in Orlando or Atlanta. Now, travelers can cut down on travel time, something travelers have been anticipating.

City Commissioner Scott Maddox, the city’s commission liaison to the airport, said the city took heed to what the community wanted.

"You asked and Tallahassee Airport and Silver Airways answered," Maddox said. "The first of many flights to and from Fort Lauderdale begins a new era in capital city travel for residents, visitors, students, businesses and lawmakers."

Silver Airways used its saab 340bplus aircrafts for the flights. The small aircraft, which only seats 34, includes leather seating.

Director of aviation, Chris Curry, pointed out the relationship the airport has with Silver Airlines and how cruciality of these flights.

"Fort Lauderdale is one of our top three destinations," Curry said. "We are happy to work with our partner, Silver Airways, as we continue to provide the Tallahassee travelers with enhanced service and greater connectivity within the state."

A large portion of students in Tallahassee were from the South Florida area.

Kevin Whitfield, a second-year pharmacy doctoral candidate at Florida A&M University and Fort Lauderdale native, expressed the convenience of an hour flight compared to driving.

“I think it’s a good move and alternative for transportation to Fort Lauderdale,” Whitfield said. “That seven-hour drive back home can be tiresome. If I have a family emergency or something that I need to get home for immediately, a flight directly home would be very convenient.”

Jacksonville, Tallahassee’s neighbor also offered direct flights to Fort Lauderdale from its airport.

“Jacksonville also offers flights so it’s not like there is no other quicker option than driving,” Whitfield said. “But a direct flight from here to home would be way more beneficial.”

Tallahassee Regional Airport has big plans for the future. The city commission recently approved a plan to change Tallahassee Regional Airport to Tallahassee International Airport.

The airport hoped to achieve international status by first allowing international cargo and eventually allowing commercial international flights. The commission believed international status will improve the local economy and bring more business to the city of Tallahassee.