Tampa International Airport to add first new terminal in nearly 20 years

Tampa International Airport just got the green light for its first new terminal in nearly 20 years.

On Thursday, the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority board of directors approved the budget that officially cleared construction for Airside D. The move kick starts the $787.4 million project after it was paused for two years due to the pandemic.

The new terminal will spell more options to more places. Airline passengers said they look forward to the changes. 

"I think as far as main terminals go, it’s large. It’s comfortable. There’s plenty of restaurants, lots of seating," said Doriane Drouin, of Bradenton, who flies out of TPA about three times a year.

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Workers expect to start breaking ground in 2024 and finish in three years. Airside D will be TPA’s first new terminal in more than 17 years, a sign of the many new residents and businesses calling Tampa Bay home.

"As an interior designer, I’ve definitely experienced the growth that we’re experiencing here," said Drouin. "So if it means that we need to add more for all the new people coming in to Florida, then I hope it helps."

The new terminal will come with 16 gates, taking off to domestic and international destinations. Travelers like Janelle Neary hope to see more nonstop options.

"[I’d like] Definitely as many more direct flights to Europe as possible," said Neary, a Tampa resident. "I’ve had some bad layovers. I’ve had a 12-hour layover in the past to London, which is where I’m flying to today, and things like that. So it definitely just makes things easier."

TPA also plans to elevate the passenger experience with more concessions, an outdoor terrace and add in new customs and security facilities, new screening, gate check-in and bag processing technologies.

"I’m excited, because I love Tampa, and I try to get everybody to visit here. So I think it’s going to be really good," said Neary.

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Some hope the bigger footprint does not sacrifice what they already love.

"It never seems to be overcrowded or too busy. So maybe I just hit the flights just right, but I enjoy coming to Tampa," said Drouin. :I have an option of flying out of Sarasota, but I always choose to fly out of Tampa."

Airside D will be the fifth terminal and will help TPA serve 13 million more passengers over the next 15 years.