Tampa International Airport is set to begin a $61 million project this week that will refurbish shuttle guideways and replace four shuttle cars connecting passengers with the main terminal and Airsides A & C. The project, approved by the aviation authority board in October 2021, is slated to start in mid-April.
The construction work will initially occur on weekdays between 8 p.m. & 4 a.m., before ramping up in May when only one lane will be open for both airsides. TPA officials have said they anticipate longer lines as a result of the construction, and plan to station extra employees at both ends during peak times as well as installing a temporary walkway in case of emergencies.
Since thousands of people still need to reach their gates at each Airside every day, the Airport can’t just shut the shuttles down entirely.
Guests will notice over the next few weeks that Airside A and Airside C will be temporarily switching to a single-shuttle operation as crews work on upgrades.
The new shuttles will take design cues from the SkyConnect train, which began connecting the main terminal to the economy garage & the new rental car center in February 2018.
“These vehicles, which are built to operate continuously, have run for more than one million miles and served us well over the years,” said Matthew Deloatche, TPA senior project director for planning and development, in a statement. “Now it’s time to refresh this integral part of the TPA experience for all our passengers.”
Lopano further noted that “This project may cause some short-term inconvenience for our customers but the end result will be worth it — we’ll have more efficient airside operations that provide a much better experience for everyone who uses them.”
All four cars connecting to Airsides A and C are expected to be operational by spring 2025, according to the release. The project is funded with a mix of bonds and state grants.