Passengers and guests will see major changes at Tampa International Airport in the coming weeks as construction on the airport’s $1 billion Master Plan expansion gets under way.
In early December, TPA will close the ground transportation centers on the east side of the terminal and move all commercial vehicle operations so crews can begin the expansion of the main terminal to the east. Drivers will see the construction walls as they enter the departures and arrivals curbsides. Passengers will also see construction walls inside the baggage claim level on the east side of the building.
The change affects the location of the Economy Parking Garage shuttle, taxis, hotel shuttles, SuperShuttle, cruise ship bus stops and other ground transportation operators. Visitors may also notice increased traffic on airport roads.
“We’re going to do everything in our power to minimize the impacts of this construction effort,” said airport CEO Joe Lopano. “Customer satisfaction has always been the highest priority at TPA and that’s especially true as the airport expands to meet its future needs.”
To keep traffic running smoothly, additional traffic specialists will be stationed at the blue baggage claim curbside exit. The airport’s traffic managers will be more active at the transportation center to ensure commercial vehicles are getting in and out efficiently and following all posted rules.
Signage in the airport will direct travelers to the appropriate area for ground transportation. The airport has also added additional guest service representatives to assist passengers throughout Master Plan construction. The uniformed guest service reps will be stationed at the red and blue baggage claims beginning in early December to direct travelers to the west side ground transportation centers. The reps will also rove around the baggage area to address questions as they come up.
Construction on the third floor of the main terminal begins in early January. Construction walls will go up in the main terminal and one shuttle track will close to Airsides A and C. Guest services reps will be located at the shuttles in both the Main Terminal and the airsides to help guide passengers and keep the shuttles moving on schedule.
Construction in the main terminal will hit its peak in August 2015 and is expected to conclude by winter of 2017.
Key elements of the master plan are a consolidated rental car center connected to the main terminal by a people mover and an expansion of the main terminal. The project is expected to support 9,000 construction-related jobs.
To follow the progress of the expansion project and stay up-to-date on travel impacts, go to www.tampaaairport.com or follow us on Facebook or Twitter at @FlyTPA.