16:05 PM

TPA to launch Master Plan Update to shape the next 20 years of airport growth

Tampa International Airport on Thursday announced the launch of its 2022 Master Plan Update (MPU), which will help inform and shape an enhanced customer experience and support the next 20 years of growth at the airport. The kickoff to the MPU follows approval of the airport’s FY2022 budget by the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority’s (HCAA) Board of Directors on September 2, 2021.

This Master Plan Update is part of a regular revalidation process prescribed by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Florida Department of Transportation to analyze TPA’s overall capacity, operational and maintenance needs, customer enhancements and any new or emerging trends that are anticipated to influence the aviation industry. 

“The MPU is critical to shaping the vision for Tampa International Airport for years to come,” said TPA CEO Joe Lopano. “The decisions we make now will be felt by millions of travelers so it is vital that we get this plan right. We inherited one of the best airport facilities in the world and want to make sure we continue to strengthen our legacy of innovation and excellence.” 

The MPU process will take approximately two years and will involve coordination with HCAA’s airline and business partners, regulatory and local planning agencies, airport stakeholders, and the public in order to solicit input regarding current and future airport needs. It will culminate with the submission of the Airport MPU document and updated Airport Layout Plan to the Federal Aviation Administration for review and approval. 

Master Plan Updates are for commercial service airports, such as TPA, and are typically conducted every five to 10 years to account for changing conditions in the region or in the aviation industry as a whole. Ultimately, the MPU document provides the airport with a clear path forward for cohesive, smart development and improvements. 

TPA’s last full Master Plan launched in 2012, with an addendum completed in 2016. It was the backbone for the three-phase, multi-billion dollar expansion that followed. The expansion included the SkyConnect Automated People Mover system, a new rental car center, expansion of the Main Terminal transfer level, a reimagined concessions program featuring 70 new shops and restaurants, the new SkyCenter One office building, new express curbside lanes, roadway expansion, and a new Central Utility Plant. These projects are aimed at decongesting airport facilities and enabling demand-driven growth while preserving a cost-competitive structure for the airport. 

Primary goals of the 2022 MPU include: 

  • Creation of a new 20-year passenger forecast 
  • Reassessment of Airside D, including timing and functionality 
  • Identification of new or emerging trends/technologies, such as autonomous vehicles, electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft and touchless technologies for passenger processing 
  • Assessment of TPA’s existing airfield capacity and analysis of whether additional runways may be needed 
  • Comprehensive assessment of the capacity needs and operational enhancements needed to support the growth and success of all business sectors operating at TPA

Airport consulting firm Ricondo and Associates is leading and managing TPA's 2022 Master Plan Update.