80 years of changes for the Naples Airport

Author: Aisling Swift, The Naples Press
Published: Updated:
Wave-like canopies represent coastal elements of the Naples Pier reminding visitors why they chose to visit the sunshine state at the Naples Airport on Wednesday June 28, 2023. (Photo by Chris Tilley)

Naples Airport, which began in 1943 as a military airfield, has undergone numerous improvements over the years—and as it celebrates its 80th anniversary, more upgrades are planned for a quieter and more environmentally friendly airport. 

The self-sustaining airport, which uses no taxpayer money, handled more than 200,000 passengers last year, supports 5,454 jobs and generates a $781 million annual economic impact, according to the Florida Department of Transportation. That’s a 77% increase from its prior valuation in 2019. 

In April, it began a drainage-improvement project to eliminate water pooling on airfield surfaces, improve aircraft safety and reduce bird activity, and installed 100 security cameras to deter vandalism and theft. In May, the Naples Airport Authority (NAA), which oversees operations, approved spending up to $1.6 million for landscaping and irrigation improvements along Airport Road and its entrance. 

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