TIA debuts $1 billion SkyConnect facility Wednesday

- It’s crunch time at Tampa International Airport. A $1 billion addition is scheduled to open to the public Wednesday morning.

It features a huge rental car facility that doubles the number of companies on-site and an automated train that moves passengers back and forth to the main terminal at nearly 50 miles per hour.

“This is the best in the country,” CEO Joe Lopano said about the airport's new features. “This is really world class plus.”

The train, called SkyConnect, also connects the main terminal with economy parking, eliminating the need for buses.

The new facility has remote baggage check-in so rental car and economy lot customers can check their bags and receive their boarding pass before going to the main terminal.

Even as these additions debut Wednesday, airport planners will be working on a second phase which will add an office building and a second hotel at the airport.

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