(August 31, 2016) Tampa International Airport is about to enter one of the most complex phases of the Master Plan expansion.
Beginning Sept. 6 through early 2017, Tampa International Airport will close the blue side arrival and departure curbsides from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. for construction of the SkyConnect guideway. This closure affects passengers on American, Delta, JetBlue and United. During this time, all pick-ups and drop-offs for those airlines will be directed to Short Term Parking.
Crews will temporarily stop work and operations will return to normal during the Thanksgiving and winter holidays, as well as the National College Football Championship in January.
“We’re an Airport first and getting the traveling public through this Airport safely and with minimal impacts is our number one goal,” said Al Illustrato, TPA’s Vice President of Facilities and Administration. “Everything we do in our construction phasing and processes is to ensure that we are safe and to ensure that we can operate the Airport effectively.”
During these closures, crews and massive cranes will lift steel beams that weight up to 146,000 pounds – about the weight of a Boeing 737-700 – and pour concrete over the roadways and Airside A guideway for the people-mover connecting the new rental car center with the Main Terminal. No activity can take place underneath during this process.
The Airport will dry-run the closures the nights of Sept. 6 and 7 and make any necessary changes to plans to ensure smooth traffic flow, as is typically done with all construction likely to impact passengers. Construction is scheduled to begin the night of Sept. 8.
“Next to safety, customer service and the customer experience is a top priority of ours,” said John Tiliacos, Vice President of Operations and Customer Service. “So as part of this plan we’ve taken a number of steps to mitigate the impact of the blue side closures on our customers.”
In addition to the dry-run, there will be extra staffing at the toll plazas, in the parking garage and at baggage claim to assist guests. Special parking passes that waive parking fees will be issued to drivers dropping off or picking up passengers. The airlines will also help get the word out to passengers in advance of their arrival or departure.
- Drivers should closely observe all posted speed limits and watch for directional signage.
- Picking up? Park in the Short Term Parking Garage and take the blue elevators to baggage claim to meet your traveler.
- Parking fees will be waived for pick-up and drop-offs.