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Media Information

The purpose of the Aviation Authority Media Guide is to provide local and national news media organizations, and their working reporters and crews, with information to work most effectively with the staff at Tampa International Airport and its three general aviation airports - Plant City, Peter O. Knight and Tampa Executive.

Media inquiries should be directed initially to the Public Information and Community Relations Department. The telephone number is (813) 870-8707. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The fax number is (813) 875-6670.

For media inquiries after hours, please page the Director of Public Information and Community Relations at (813) 201-0942 or contact the Airport Operations Office at Tampa International (813) 870-8752.


The Director of Public Information and Community Relations will assist the media by providing information about the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority and the operations of Tampa International Airport and its three general aviation airports.

A media kit is available upon request which provides:

  • media guide
  • TPA fact sheet
  • History
  • Awards and Honors
  • General Aviation Brochures
  • Annual Report

News Releases

News releases are issued to describe changes in services, Airport construction, notices to travelers during severe weather, busy seasons, and as needed. A listing of the wire services, local newspaper, television and radio outlets are used and releases are generally sent by electronic media alert and fax to facilitate the information process. Please advise the Public Information and Community Relations Department if you would like to be placed on the contact list, or if your contact information changes.

Press Conferences

When the Aviation Authority has a major announcement that will affect travelers or would like to draw the public's attention to an issue of importance at the Airport, a news conference may be called.

Advance media advisories will be issued to alert you of the upcoming event and press releases and other material will be provided at the event.

Media Parking

Media representatives on assignment at the Airport have the option of parking in either the Short Term or Long Term Parking Garage at no cost. Members of the media must bring their parking tickets to a Public Information Officer at either of the information kiosks on the Transfer Level (third floor of the Landside Terminal Building) or see any member of Public Information and Community Relations for validation.

Additionally, the Aviation Authority has designated parking spaces on the east quad deck for “live” trucks or vans on official assignment at the Airport. The media may use these spaces and leave the vehicle unattended after checking in with the Airport Police Department.

To obtain authorization to park in one of the media spaces on the east quad deck or curbside, media representatives should call the Airport Police dispatch at 813/870-8760 before arriving at the Airport.

Arrangements will be made for a Traffic Specialist to meet the media on the Red Departure Drive (level 2). The Traffic Specialist will check media credentials and approve parking procedures on the drive or in one of the media spaces on the east quad deck. (This is not a vehicle inspection.) Any media vehicle that parks on the drive or in the media spaces without prior clearance of credentials will have their vehicle towed.

Parking for out-of-town assignments or personal business is prohibited. Violators’ vehicles will be impounded.


It is the policy of the Aviation Authority to cooperate with the news media to the greatest extent possible. Our primary responsibilities, however, are safe, orderly and secure airport operations. When there is an emergency situation at Tampa International Airport or one of the general aviation airports, that is expected to generate extensive media attention, these procedures will serve as our guidelines:

  1. The media, in reporting news of an aircraft emergency, accident or other incident at Tampa International Airport is requested to release incident details with prudence until information can be confirmed by Aviation Authority staff. As information becomes available, initial reports will be confirmed.
  2. Media representatives will report to the Aviation Authority’s board room located on the third floor of the Landside Terminal Building or other designated location. The Director of Public Information and Community Relations or as an alternate, the Senior Director of Operations and Public Safety will be prepared to:
    1. Inform the media of any confirmed information.
    2. Provide media personnel with contact information for outside agencies involved in the incident.
    3. Stay in contact with the mobile command center to obtain and provide information relating to the incident.
    4. Coordinate the approval of and assembly of the media to the scene of the incident.
  3. Media will be permitted access to the scene of the emergency or incident as soon as practicable after the scene has been declared secure. The assembly point for media to access an airfield scene is gate SR-3 which is located north of the airport hotel. No representative of the media will enter aircraft movement areas or security areas without an Aviation Authority escort.
  4. The ninth level of the Short Term Parking Garage offers an excellent vantage point of all movement areas on Tampa International Airport. This location is recommended for media representatives desiring to film airfield accidents or incidents. The news media will have the same access as extended to the general public. The media will not be allowed to interfere with the pedestrian or vehicle flow of the general public or with airline, airport, tenant and concessionaire operations.
  5. While the Aviation Authority recognizes the importance of interviewing passengers, we also believe our first responsibility is to the passengers and their families and their right to privacy. If any individuals are reluctant to be interviewed or photographed, the Aviation Authority will support their decision.
  6. In addition, during an aircraft accident, access to passengers may be subject to approval by the involved airline, Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Transportation Safety Board, Transportation Security Administration and/or the Department of Homeland Security.
  7. In the event of an emergency, the Aviation Authority's representative will provide the following information:
    • Date and time of incident
    • Name of airline
    • Type of aircraft and flight number
    • Arrival/departure and destination
    • Number of persons on board (if confirmed)
    • General description of the incident
    • Special security conditions at the scene of the accident
    • Information regarding escort service to scene for media

    Note: all other information must be provided by the airline representative or the appropriate federal agency.

  8. In a non-aircraft emergency situation, the Director of Public Information and Community Relations will coordinate the release of information. The Tampa International Airport Police Department is in charge of investigating traffic accidents and criminal activities on Airport property. Tampa Fire Rescue officials handle fire, rescue and ambulance operations. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is responsible for the security of all modes of transportation including aircraft.

Agencies Involved in Emergency Situations

Tampa International Airport Operations Department

The Operations Department assumes operational control of the Airport during aircraft emergency situations.

Tampa International Airport Police Department

The Airport Police Department is responsible for establishing and maintaining a security line at the incident site and ingress/egress points. The law enforcement officers will also maintain patrol of the airfield area.

Tampa International Airport Aircraft Rescue and FireFighting (ARFF)

The Airport ARFF crews (Tampa Fire Rescue) are responsible for firefighting and emergency medical rescue operations at TPA as well as water rescue.

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)

The NTSB and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are the federal agencies that investigate aircraft accidents. They also take custody of the aircraft and its contents from the time fire/rescue activities are concluded until a full investigation is completed, or a release is given.

Upon the arrival of the NTSB investigating team, the Aviation Authority's Public Information and Community Relations staff may assume a support role to the NTSB or the FAA at their request.

News media representatives should request "B" Roll film from NTSB lab before an emergency situation occurs.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

Various branches of the FAA have responsibilities in an aircraft emergency. The FAA operates the control tower at Tampa International Airport and controls the air traffic during an emergency to permit rescue equipment to proceed to the accident site. Once an alert is initiated by the FAA Air Traffic Control Center at the Airport, the Aviation Authority's Operations Department assumes control of the situation.

To acquire information about the FAA, an incident or an airport alert, there is no local office. The news media is requested to contact the Public Affairs Office in Atlanta (see telephone list). The FAA also becomes involved in investigations of some airport incidents that do not involve aircraft accidents.

Involved Airline

The involved airline is responsible for providing information regarding passengers aboard the aircraft and any detailed information about the flight, flight activities and the aircraft. The passenger list will not become public until families have been notified.

Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Security Administration

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has jurisdiction over hijacked aircraft while in flight. “In flight” is defined as the point that the doors are closed for normal operations to the point the doors are open for normal disembarkation. As a result, a plane can be on the ground and still be considered in flight.

The TSA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will work very closely in this type of incident. The TSA will rely on the FBI for hostage negotiation and, if necessary, aircraft interdiction

The Federal Security Director (FSD) is the local authority and will command all resources necessary to manage a hijacking incident, including directing local law enforcement until the FBI is on site and incident command shifts for interdiction.

Emergency Categories

Alert 1 (precautionary landing/take off)

Tampa Tower personnel will normally advise Tampa Fire Rescue that a potential emergency exists that may require dispatch of emergency equipment at a later time. Emergency equipment will usually be on stand-by in quarters.

Alert 2 (potential emergency)

Tampa Tower personnel advise Tampa Fire Rescue that a potential emergency exists requiring immediate dispatch of emergency equipment to appropriate standby positions on the Airport.

Alert 3 (accident)

Tampa Tower personnel will advise Tampa Fire Rescue that an accident has occurred or is imminent requiring immediate dispatch of emergency equipment to the scene of the emergency to commence fire fighting and/or rescue operations.




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