First Passenger Airline Departs from South Florida 1914

Lorea Thomson
Posted by Lorea Thomson
Updated on
Published in Arts & Culture

On January 14, 1914, the very first scheduled passenger airline took off from South Florida.  The airline was based between St. Petersburg and Tampa. This commercial airline service began offering flights between the two cities.  The airline carrier was known as the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line.

The St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line was a very brief lived venture.  However, the very first paying passenger was the notable Mayor of St. Petersburg, Abram C. Phell.  Reportedly, the flight lasted 23 minutes and spanned 21 miles.  The aircraft made use of an airboat that could take off and land in the water. Just four short months later the airline venture shut down but smoothed a path for what would become daily transcontinental flights.

Palm Beach International Airport (PBIA), 1000 Palm Beach International Airport, West Palm Beach is maintained and operated by Palm Beach County, through its Department of Airports. PBIA has 28 aircraft gates with expansion potential for 24 additional gates in the future. PBIA is aptly located to serve the air trade area of Palm Beach County and the four surrounding counties. The airport is located 2.5 miles west of downtown West Palm Beach and just 3.5 miles west of Palm Beach. PBIA is situated adjacent to Interstate Highway 95 and is accessible from anywhere in Palm Beach County. Boca Raton is approximately 20 miles south and Jupiter is just 15 miles north.



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