Albert Whitted Airport


Watching small aircraft fly over the water, the pier, and the city skyline is something you can’t see anywhere else. It’s an exceptional experience that adds to the eclectic vibe of our city for our locals; and adds to St. Pete’s charm as a tourist destination.

Albert Whitted Airport is an incredible intersection of history and the future. Not only is St. Pete the birthplace of commercial aviation – with the first flight in 1914 – but it’s a hub of innovation, where visionaries drive advancements in aviation technologies.

The location of Albert Whitted Airport plays a vital role in medical transportation from All Children’s Hospital; and it enables safety, recovery, and resilience during and after hurricanes and other natural disasters. It’s not just an airport; it’s a lifeline. And Albert Whitted Airport is a place of opportunity for so many people across our community:

  • Hundreds of children come to the airport each year to discover and explore aeronautics, science, and interaction with airplanes, pilots, and astronauts
  • Students of all ages earn their pilot licenses at St. Pete Air and go on to build careers in aviation
  • Flights from AWA carry scientists and environmental preservation teams doing research in the Bay on everything from algae to manatee migration
  • Sea turtle relocation and animal rescues happen there; and
  • It enables mobility that attracts businesses, tourists, and investors – fueling the local economy and job creation

It’s a reflection of St. Pete’s vibrant, accepting culture and an integral part of our community.

St. Petersburg is a better place because of Albert Whitted Airport.



Children are natural scientists; they thrive in hands-on exploration. Experiential learning opportunities at Albert Whitted Airport provide children with hands-on experiences that foster wonder, curiosity, and even critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.

Seeing a child take their first flight; helping an astronaut build a simulated comet; or using an infrared telescope are regular occurrences at Albert Whitted Airport; and these are just the kind of activities that ignite their passion for discovery and helps them gain the confidence to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and aviation.

Hundreds of children from Tampa Bay and beyond visit Albert Whitted Airport each year to experience aeronautics; develop a love of science and flight; and discover exciting new opportunities.


There is something special about watching a small aircraft soar over sailboats in the warm waters of the bay; cross above the outstretched pier; and fly around our unique, beautiful city skyline. 

Albert Whitted Airport gives locals and tourists, alike, one of the only downtown waterfront experiences where the water, land, and sky interact so seamlessly, making St. Petersburg an extraordinary, one-of-a-kind destination.



The dream of becoming a pilot represents the pursuit of freedom, a rewarding career, adventure, and limitless possibilities. It embodies the desire to soar through the skies; command a powerful aircraft; and experience the world from a unique and exhilarating perspective.

Albert Whitted Airport has helped thousands of people fulfill their dream of becoming a pilot. The instructors at St. Pete Air, as well as several independent flight instructors at AWA, are dedicated to ensuring those with a passion for flight can earn their license; and flight training scholarships from the Friends of Albert Whitted Airport enable young people from under-represented communities to realize this dream.


Long before commercial airline pilots step into the cockpit of a 777, they climb into a much smaller aircraft to begin their quest for a license and launch their aviation career. These initial experiences provide the foundation for building the skills required to navigate the intricacies of flight; hone their decision-making abilities; and develop the confidence necessary to handle the complexities of larger aircraft. 

Airplanes play a crucial role in the world economy, facilitating global trade and connecting businesses, people, and cultures across continents. They enable efficient transportation of goods and people, fostering economic growth, international tourism, and the exchange of ideas and innovations. 

The world depends on air travel and transport, which means airports like Albert Whitted Airport have an essential role in our ability to live, work and play in today’s globally connected society and economy. 



There is nothing more precious than the life of a child. 

In emergency situations, having swift access to air transportation ensures critically ill children can receive timely and life-saving care from specialized medical facilities. 

The location of Albert Whitted Airport enables efficient and secure medical transportation, providing a safety net that can make a crucial life-or-death difference for patients, families, and medical staff in critical moments.


In the aftermath of a devastating hurricane, relief and recovery flights by organizations like Sol Relief serve as a lifeline for affected communities. These essential flights swiftly deliver crucial supplies, including food, water, and medical aid, to those in need. They also facilitate the evacuation of individuals from disaster-stricken areas, ensuring their safety and providing much-needed support during times of crisis.

The location and services at Albert Whitted Airport bring safety, security, and resilience to the St. Petersburg community and beyond – restoring hope, resilience, and stability to the affected populations before, during, and after our state’s devastating hurricanes.



Airports serve as a city’s most important main street, connecting people, businesses, and opportunities; and fostering economic growth and cultural exchange. 

With its strategic downtown location, Albert Whitted Airport attracts businesses, tourists, and investors, bolstering the city’s economy. It serves as a gateway for corporate travel, facilitating easy access for businesses to explore opportunities and forge connections. The airport supports job creation, stimulates the hospitality industry, and fosters economic growth, making it an integral part of St. Petersburg’s economic landscape.


The future of aviation holds boundless possibilities as technological advancements continue to shape the industry. From electric and autonomous aircraft to supersonic travel and space exploration, we can anticipate a future where aviation transcends boundaries, revolutionizes transportation, and unlocks new frontiers of exploration, connecting the world in ways we have yet to imagine.

Albert Whitted Airport is a hub of aviation innovation, where innovators and visionaries foster an environment of creativity and future-thinking that is propelling the industry into the future.



Albert Whitted Airport carries a rich history that intertwines with the evolution of aviation and the city it serves. St. Petersburg is the site of the first scheduled commercial flight, which launched from downtown waters near Albert Whitted Airport on January 1, 1914. Flights from a shell runway began in 1917, and the airport was named and dedicated in 1928. National Airlines, one of the first commercial airlines, began service at AWA in 1934.

With its historic hangars and iconic control tower, Albert Whitted stands as a testament to the pioneering spirits that have graced its runways. It has welcomed famous aviators; hosted airshows that have dazzled spectators; and served as a launchpad for countless dreams of flight. This gem on St. Pete’s downtown waterfront has seen – and been an important part of – decades of transformative moments in aviation. And the airport continues to thrive as a vital part of the St. Petersburg community today.


The land, water, and air surrounding Tampa Bay is a rich ecosystem, providing the perfect habitat for a wide variety of wildlife; and our waterfronts and climate make it a great place to enjoy nature at its finest.

Albert Whitted Airport plays an active role in the preservation and protection of the local environment and our extensive ecosystem. Flights taking off from Albert Whitted Airport conduct research, from algae blooms to manatee migrations; volunteers perform animal rescues, transport turtles, and reunite pets with their humans; and airport partners and supporters are dedicated to ensuring an environmentally friendly implementation of the 20-Year Master Plan, and beyond.


St. Petersburg boasts an eclectic community and vibrant culture that captivates residents and visitors alike. Known for its diverse blend of arts, music, and culinary delights, the city pulsates with creative energy. From the colorful murals adorning the streets to the bustling waterfront, St. Pete offers a unique fusion of modern sophistication and laid-back charm, creating a welcoming atmosphere that embraces individuality and celebrates the spirit of community.

Albert Whitted Airport is a cornerstone of St. Pete’s vibrant, accepting culture, with activities and opportunities available to everyone in our dynamic, colorful, and beautiful community.

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