The Destin-Ft. Walton Beach Airport (Also known by its airport code: VPS) has been in the midst of an exciting growth period, and our beautiful beaches are now more accessible than ever.
New routes and carriers have spurred quick growth
Until several years ago, the Destin-Ft. Walton Beach area was known mostly as a destination for residents of the southeastern states who could easily travel here by car. The stunning, white-sand beaches, beautiful resorts, and family-friendly attractions drove many to the panhandle shores for decades, but it remained inconvenient for most who were outside of easy driving distance.
The incredible growth of VPS airport is proof that things are changing. All four airlines that serve Destin have added routes recently, but it was Allegiant Airlines naming the airport as a regional base of operations in 2017 that has spurred most of the growth. As a result, VPS has been named the fastest growing airport in the entire U.S.
VPS is currently planning $33 million in improvements to prepare for the future
VPS’s role as an important gateway to the Florida panhandle is just beginning, however. Anticipating even further growth in the future, airport officials have outlined a $33 million master plan for various improvements and additions that will position VPS to provide an exceptional experience for employees, airlines, and the millions of passengers set to pass through in the coming years.
Developments of the master plan are slated to take place over approximately 20 years, and some of the changes outlined include:
- Improved rental car facilities
- An expanded main terminal
- Creation of a new satellite terminal with tarmac expansion
- Additional parking areas for employees and passengers
- New covered walkways from parking areas into the terminal building
- Additional non-aviation office space
Current carriers serving Destin - Ft. Walton Beach
In addition to Allegiant using VPS as a new base of operations for the region, the three major U.S. legacy airlines—Delta, American, and United—also offer service in and out of VPS. Silver Airways also offers a flight between Destin and Orlando.
Current destinations served from VPS
Currently, the three legacy carriers feature nonstop flights between VPS and their respective hubs. Delta passengers can travel to and from Atlanta; American runs flights to VPS out of Dallas, Chicago, Charlotte, and Washington D.C.; and United passengers can choose between Houston, Denver, and Chicago.
By far, the greatest variety of destinations to and from VPS is currently offered by Allegiant Airlines, which flies between Destin and dozens of cities across the U.S. including:
- Kansas City
- Little Rock
- Oklahoma City
- St. Louis
- And more
Other facts about Destin - Ft. Walton Beach Airport
For the fiscal year 2018, total passenger traffic for VPS grew to 1.4 million, which represents an 82% growth rate over a three year period.
Destin-Ft. Walton Beach and the Florida panhandle as a whole, have long been hubs of military activity, and that legacy has been key to VPS’s growth in the region. The airport is one of several mixed-use facilities in the U.S., with Air Force flight activity existing alongside civilian flights. There is even a retired Air Force jet outside the terminal entrance as a monument to the airport’s military connection.
Clearly, there’s never been a better time to fly to the Destin-Ft. Walton Beach area! No matter how you choose to get here, Ocean Reef Resorts has the perfect Destin vacation rental waiting for you, so you can recharge and relax on the Gulf Coast.