15:09 PM

Construction projects continue at TPA while navigating spring break

The Main Terminal and several Airsides have multiple expansion and renovation projects in progress that will lead to a better overall travel experience.

Main Terminal expansion 1

Tampa International Airport is hard at work expanding and improving facilities to serve travelers better.

But while these upgrades are designed to enhance the guest experience, the work will take time and may require a little bit of extra planning for travelers in those areas.

Here are a few construction projects you may notice on your next trip to TPA.

Red Side expansion

Construction crews continue to work on the Red Express Curbsides and expansion on the Red Side of the Main Terminal.

The old, 1970s-era Administration Building is all but gone on the north side, with demolition of the elevator core happening underneath the walkway to the Airport Marriott. The Red Express Curbsides building, which will function the same as its award-winning Blue Side counterpart, has already started taking shape in its place. Travelers who don’t need to check baggage and have their boarding passes can go directly to Level 3 in the Main Terminal to reach their Airside shuttles.

That third level also is growing outward to encompass new retail space and the shuttle platform for the future Airside D. You can see the shuttle platform out the window of the food court next to Airside E.

Expect to hear some construction noise during the day as those projects progress. The Red Express Curbsides building is scheduled to open in the Summer of 2025.

Red Arrival 2

Cars driving to the Main Terminal on the Red Side Arrivals level will soon notice a traffic shift. The temporary entry lanes that were used while workers began building the Red Side Departures bridge are closing.

Drivers heading to Red Arrivals will now use permanent lanes that run underneath the bridge, which is being extended alongside the future Red Express Curbsides building.

Those lanes are scheduled to open on April 3.

Bag Claim refresh

If you’re picking up luggage on Red Side Bag Claims belts 9, 10 and 11, you’ll notice new lighting and an open ceiling in that area. This is part of a renovation across all of Level 1 of the Main Terminal to update the lighting and appearance around the baggage belts.

New LED signage, fresh carpeting ceiling tiles, and brighter lighting are being installed in six phases. That work is being done overnight, so workers usually won’t be present in the area during busy daytime hours.

The phased work means that every section of the Bag Claim area will have visible work on its updates for a short period of time. The entire Bag Claim area on both the Red and Blue Sides is slated to be completed by December 2024.

A and E Security Checkpoints

Airsides A and E were both designed and built before the Transportation Security Administration was created, and are in need of more room to accommodate modern security checkpoint needs. Both Airsides are getting additions with around 20,000 square feet of space to make room for screening lanes and state-of-the-art equipment.

Crews are currently working on preparing the footprint for the expansion at both Airsides, so you will see partitions in place to separate travelers from the construction areas.

While this much-needed space is being built, travelers will see changes to the queueing processes that may lead to temporary delays in screening when the Airsides are busy. Outgoing passengers should be sure to give themselves plenty of time to negotiate the checkpoints at A and E while this work is ongoing. TPA always recommends arriving at least two hours before a domestic flight, and three hours before an international flight.

The A and E security checkpoint work is scheduled to be completed by Summer 2025.

A and C shuttle replacements

The shuttles at Airsides A and C, which were last upgraded in the 1990s and have run for more than a million miles each, are in the middle of being replaced. The concrete guideways on which the shuttles run are also being rebuilt, so that means only one shuttle is in operation at each Airside as the concrete is replaced.

Please keep in mind there may be a short wait for the shuttles if large groups of people are heading to these Airsides, especially at E as it is also undergoing checkpoint expansion.

Pairs of sleek, brand-new shuttle cars are due to start arriving in Fall 2024, with all four pairs scheduled to be up and running by Spring 2025.