Consultants for Tampa International Airport earlier this month unveiled details for the airport’s updated master plan.
The centerpiece of the plan so far: A consolidated rental car center near the entrance to the airport campus connected to the terminal by an automated people mover. Consultant HNTB has also proposed moving employee and tenant parking to that area, which is south of the main terminal, along with commercial development.
The proposal was developed after analyzing new passenger growth projections for the next 20 years, which were approved by the FAA.
“The data shows that we will experience increasing congestion at our arrival and departure curbsides and related roadways that’s made worse by having rental car facilities located at the terminal,” said Al Illustrato, the airport’s Vice President of Facilities who is working with the consultants on the plan. “This proposal could solve that problem as the airport continues to grow.”
HNTB also outlined suggestions for developing land east of the terminal with expanded cargo operations, aircraft repair and maintenance operations, and businesses such as manufacturing facilities that need easy access to an airfield.
Those interested in the airport master plan can review the proposal at meetings scheduled for Oct. 25, including a meeting for the general public set for 6 p.m. at the St. Petersburg Marriott Clearwater, 12600 Roosevelt Boulevard North.
“Community engagement is critical to this process,” Illustrato said. “We want anyone who uses or cares about the airport to tell us what they think of these concepts and help us focus the vision for the airport’s future.”
HNTB will share concepts for changes to the airport’s terminal in December.
Tampa International Airport’s last master plan, completed in 2005, called for building a new, $1 billion terminal north of the existing one. But the economic downturn and changes in the airline industry in recent years slowed passenger growth, delaying the need for that expansion.
Redeveloping the south property and reconfiguring the existing terminal will accommodate growth for the next 20 years while preserving land on the north side of the campus for future expansion.
“With only 3,300 acres, we have to be very thoughtful about how land is used,” said airport CEO Joe Lopano. “This plan allows us to take a measured approach for growing the airport’s core business – moving passengers. It also lays the groundwork for new revenue and job-creation opportunities through aviation-related and passenger-support businesses.”