Work begins on $940m Florida airport expansion

Work has begun on a $943m expansion of Tampa International Airport in Florida. The work will involve the renovation of the main terminal to increase its capacity by 55,000 square feet. There will also be a 2 million square foot car rental facility, a 2.3km "people mover" and an outdoor terrace.  

The main terminal building is to be renovated by Skanska USA; the airport will take bids for the replacement of the shopping, eating and drinking facilities by 2017.

Artist’s depiction of the upgraded Tampa International Airport

Some 9,000 jobs are to be created during construction, and 1,000 permanent posts will be available after the expansion is completed. Arthenia Joyner, a Democratic member of the Florida Senate, said that about $122m of the work will be done by women and minority-owned businesses. 

Construction is due to be completed in 2017 and aims to keep the airport operating within its capacity limits for the next 20-30 years. The airport estimates that by 2033 it could be handling up to 34 million passengers a year, compared with 17 million last year.

Artist’s depiction of the upgraded Tampa International Airport

The airport, which is publicly owned by the Hillsborough Country Aviation Authority, will remain operational throughout construction. It is the first major expansion since it opened in 1971.

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