17:12 PM

Tampa International Airport wins top national award for inclusion and diversity

The Airport Minority Advisory Council (AMAC) named TPA “Airport of the Year,” recognizing its efforts in contracting minority- and woman-owned businesses.

A top national, non-profit trade organization supporting minorities and women in the aviation industry named Tampa International Airport its “Airport of the Year,” recognizing TPA’s accomplishments in bringing more diversity to its contracts.

The Airport Minority Advisory Council (AMAC) presented the award to TPA at its 35th Annual Airport Business Diversity Conference in Los Angeles last week. The award honors an airport for significant contributions toward implementing new programs, reaching goals and initiatives and other efforts toward advancing disadvantaged, minority- and woman-owned businesses both locally and nationally.

“Tampa International Airport has made great strides in the last few years toward becoming more inclusive and encouraging to women and minorities looking for opportunities in the aviation industry, particularly in concessions and construction,” said TPA Business Diversity Manager Cheryl Hawkins, who accepted the award on behalf of TPA. “This is a great honor to be named Airport of the Year and we’re thankful to AMAC for recognizing our efforts.”

Tampa International Airport completed the first phase of its Master Plan last year and redeveloped its concessions program, adding 70 new shops, restaurants and spas. After committing to spend $122 million of the $1 billion expansion with minority- and woman-owned businesses, posting monthly updates toward that goal online throughout the expansion, TPA wound up spending nearly $180 million with woman- and minority-owned business – almost 50 percent more than its goal.

TPA also grew its Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) participation in its concessions redevelopment program from four to 15 companies which now own and operate restaurants or storefronts at the airport. The Airport has also hosted numerous outreach events to bring large and small contractors together and foster relationships with woman- and minority-owned businesses, and in April, it hosted the AMAC Business Opportunity Summit.

The Airport recently set a new disadvantaged business goal of $74.7 million for the second phase of the Master Plan, which includes 16 new express curbsides, a 35-acre commercial development, a new central utility plant, a new taxiway bridge and other related projects.

TPA’s Business and Diversity team has been nationally recognized in the past for its outreach efforts and accomplishments in diversity hiring and contracting. In 2018, the Federal Aviation Authority presented Tampa International Airport with the 2018 Civil Rights Advocate and Partner Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Award.