Tampa International Airport is one of the best airports in the entire country. Even TPA’s bathrooms are getting national attention for their art and excellence. The massive airport is readying for another major development. On Thursday, the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority Board of Directors approved the Aviation Authority’s Fiscal Year 2023 Capital and Operating Budget, which includes the new $787.4 million terminal. This is in addition to TPA exploring the feasibility and implementation of air taxis in the Tampa Bay region.
Construction is expected to start in 2024 and be completed in 2027. That may sound a ways away, but time flies at TPA. The new terminal will enable the Airport to serve an additional 13 million passengers by 2037, according to a release by TPA. Airside D’s 16 gates will serve domestic and international flights, bringing TPA’s total gates to 72. The building will be about 563,000 square feet with vast concessions space, an outdoor terrace, state-of-the-art Customs and security facilities, as well as new screening, gate check-in and bag processing technologies.
The Airside D project was originally slated to begin in 2021 but was delayed due to COVID-19. This will be the fifth airside terminal at TPA, the first new one in more than 17 years, and will be paid for with a mix of federal and state grants, and airport-issued bonds.
Multimillion dollar Airside D is a gamechanger
“Airside D will help us continue our tradition of staying ahead of trends and our region’s growth,” Tampa International Airport CEO Joe Lopano said. “Our new terminal’s bright, open spaces will feature the latest in technology and convenience for our passengers and will deliver the 5-star travel experience for which TPA is known.”
The Aviation Authority’s approved Capital and Operating Budget includes the following projections for Fiscal Year 2023, which runs from October 1, 2022, to September 30, 2023:
- Passengers: 23.4 million, a nearly 9% increase over FY22
- Revenues: $343.5 million, a $26.6 million increase over FY22
- Operating Expenses: $175.6 million, a $19.1 million increase over FY22
- Capital Program: 29 projects totaling $891.8 million
The Airside D project is part of the Airport’s Capital Program and is the third and final phase of TPA’s Master Plan. The Master Plan is an FAA-required blueprint for development aimed at decongesting airport facilities and enabling future growth. Phases 1 and 2 included several major projects including the Main Terminal redevelopment, the Rental Car Center, SkyConnect Automated People Mover, roadway expansion, Central Utility Plant, the award-winning Blue Express Curbsides for passengers without checked luggage, and the new SkyCenter One office building.