Airport Administration

Chief Executive Officer – Joe Lopano

Aviation Authority Chief Executive Officer Joseph W. Lopano reports to the Board of Directors.

Joe Lopano was appointed on January 1, 2011 as Tampa International Airport’s Chief Executive Officer. A true visionary of the industry with more than 40 years of commercial aviation experience, he has led tremendous growth and service expansions at TPA. Prior to accepting the CEO role at America’s Favorite Airport, he worked at the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport for 14 years as Executive Vice President for Marketing and Terminal Management and held leadership positions at Continental Airlines.
Lopano serves on the boards of the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council (2024 Chair) and the Hillsborough County Transportation Planning Organization. He is a member of the Tony Jannus Distinguished Aviation Society and a past Honorary Commander at MacDill Air Force Base. Lopano is a graduate of Leadership Florida Cornerstone Class 30. Nationally, he serves on the Airports Council International World Governing Board.

Lopano has received numerous awards including the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council’s 2022 Herman W. Goldner award for Regional Leadership and the 2019 H.L. Culbreath Jr. Profile in Leadership award from the Tampa Bay Chamber. He was named 2021 Airport Director of the Year by the Florida Department of Transportation, 2018 Large Airport Director of the Year by Airport Experience News, and the 2017 Person of Vision by Preserve Vision Florida. He was Visit Tampa Bay’s 2015 Ambassador of the Year and received the 2015 Aviation Professional of the Year award from the Florida Department of Transportation. 
Lopano received a bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting from Pace University in New York. He and his wife Janet live in South Tampa and have three grown children and six grandchildren.

P.O. Box 22287
Tampa, FL 33622-2287
PH: (813) 870-8701 /


HCAA Executive Team

The Executive Team leads a staff of approximately 650 full-time employees of the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority who are responsible for the daily operation, administration and maintenance of Tampa International Airport and its three general aviation airports.

Meet the Executive Team

HCAA Board of Directors

The Aviation Authority is governed by a five-member Board of Directors. Three members are residents of Hillsborough County appointed by the Governor of the State of Florida for four-year terms. The Mayor of the City of Tampa and a board member of the County Commissioners of Hillsborough County serve ex officio on the board. The gubernatorial appointments occur at two-year intervals, and at these times the Board reorganizes itself, electing officers for the ensuing two years.


Brig. General Chip Diehl, Chair
4100 George J. Bean Parkway
Tampa, FL 33607
PH: (813) 546-8125

Gary W. Harrod, Vice Chair
Harrod Properties, Inc.
5550 W. Executive Drive, Suite 550
Tampa, FL 33609
PH: (813) 229-1500, F: (813) 221-1570

Board Chairman Robert Watkins

Robert I. Watkins, Treasurer
Robert Watkins & Company
610 S. Boulevard, Suite 100
Tampa, FL 33606
PH: (813) 254-3369, F: (813) 253-3280

Mayor Jane Castor

Mayor Jane Castor, Secretary
306 E. Jackson St.
Tampa, FL 33602
PH: (813) 274-8251, F: (813) 274-7050

Councilor Harry Cohen - Assistance Treasurer

Commissioner Harry Cohen, Asst. Secretary/Asst. Treasurer
601 E. Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33602
PH: (813) 272-5470, F: (813) 272-7046


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