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Tampa airport to reach higher revenues, more passengers in 2024

Veronica Brezina

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Passengers at Airside A inside the Tampa International Airport. Photo provided.

Tampa International Airport is experiencing its strongest financial position with record revenues and passenger traffic, which will skyrocket next year. 

During a Thursday board meeting, officials at the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority, which oversees the airport, said passenger traffic is projected to reach 25.2 million due to the Tampa Bay area’s nation-leading economic growth.

The board also projects the airport’s operating revenues will total $408.6 million in the next fiscal year, which kicks off in October. The estimated operating represents an increase of approximately $65.1 million. Meanwhile, operating expenses will total just under $200 million.

Today, TPA sees roughly 20 million passengers annually. In the next 20 years, TPA expects to serve 38.8 million passengers. 

These are the current top 10 destination markets for TPA: 

  1. New York 
  2. Chicago 
  3. Atlanta
  4. Boston 
  5. Philadelphia 
  6. Detroit 
  7. Dallas 
  8. Denver
  9. Washington, D.C. 
  10. Minneapolis 

TPA also recently announced several new and expanded routes: 

  • Canada-based Porter Airlines will offer daily nonstop flights between Tampa and Toronto beginning Nov. 1. 
  • Service to and from Frankfurt, Germany, is expected to expand to daily service next summer, according to airline Eurowings Discover’s announcement. The German leisure airline is rebranding and is now known as Discover Airlines. The service initially kicked off in 2021 and was available four times a week. 
  • Frontier Airlines will add daily nonstop flights from Tampa to Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, starting Nov. 16. 
  • Canadian airline WestJet will offer a new nonstop flight between Tampa International Airport and Calgary, Alberta. This is the first time WestJet will offer this connection. The service will start Dec. 23. 

According to the approved annual budget, the authority plans to funnel $57.4 million toward the 2024 Capital Improvement Program, which consists of 26 separate projects totaling more than $95.7 million, and $2.7 million for capital equipment. The authority will transfer the remainder of the spending into reserves. 

One of the “most critical” master plan projects will also be underway at the airport next year – the construction of Airside D, a 16-gate terminal for international and domestic travelers. 

Officials expect the $787 million project will take three years to complete. The airside will open to travelers in 2028.

The new airside will enable TPA to serve an additional 13 million passengers by 2037. 

The St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) will soon take on a $100 million-plus project that entails building a new passenger boarding level on the second floor and adding more aircraft parking spaces. Currently, the airport has ground-level boarding. 

In July, PIE served 279,622 passengers – shattering the previous monthly passenger activity records. 

Year to date, PIE has seen over 1.58 million passengers. The airport has over 60 nonstop connections, which are primarily offered through Allegiant Air. 

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