St. Pete–Clearwater International Airport is a public-military airport, located in Pinellas County, Florida. St. Pete airport is situated on the north-east municipal boundary of Pinellas Park, within 9 miles (14 km) north of downtown St. Petersburg; around 7 miles (11 km) south-east of Clearwater, and 17 miles (27 km) at the south-west of Tampa.
St. Pete–Clearwater became a focus city for Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air and served the Tampa Bay Area. Pinellas County owns and manages the PIE airport.
In Tampa Bay Area, the most scheduled and busy airline traffic uses Tampa International Airport (TPA), located 10 miles (16 km) east from PIE, which is less active than Tampa. However, it is frequently used by private planes, executive jets, and remains as a destination for low-cost carriers.
The airport codes are IATA: PIE, ICAO: KPIE, FAA LID: PIE. The St. Pete airport uses an advertising slogan - "Tampa Bay The Easy Way" and "Fly2PIE" about its 3-letter FAA and IATA codes.
For 2017-2021, St. Pete - Clearwater International Airport was categorized as a small-hub, primary commercial service facility by The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) 's 'National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems.' Beforehand, the airport showed double-digit growth, handled over 1$ passengers, and set a record in 2014.
The airport is situated on the west shoreline of Tampa Bay, within 6 miles (10 km) north of St. Petersburg, Florida. The first air tickets for the airline were sold by the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line of Tony Jannus for fare-paying passengers. St. Petersburg Mayor Abram C. Pheil and Mae Peabody, Mayor of Dubuque, Iowa, were the very first passengers, who flew across the bay. According to a United Press account, the airplane reached a maximum speed of 75 miles each hour during the flight.
The airport construction at its current site started in March 1941. Later, the PIE airport was acquired by the United States Army Air Forces, after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The United States Army Air Forces used the airport for military purposes. Hence, PIE was a flight training base assigned to the Third Air Force.
In 2006, Allegiant Air scheduled service from St. Pete–Clearwater to the following cities: Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Virginia.
In 2009, PIE completed a renovation that cost around 22 million, including. Many facilities were added during the expansion and improvement of the airport, including larger gates, passenger jet bridges, and new plumbing.
In 2015, Silver Airways began service in PIE, but in March, the company canceled and changed plans.
Recently, in April 2019, PIE had around 134,941 aircraft operations, with an average of 369 services each day. General aviation took 74%, 11% for military, 12% for commercial, and 3% for the air taxis.
In the same year, there were about 302 aircraft based at PIE: 118 single-engine, 40 for multi-engine, 68 jet, 39 helicopters, 36 for military, and one for ultralight.