(May 7, 2015) - The Hillsborough County Aviation Authority Board of Directors on Thursday approved the largest single contract in Airport history, locking in the price on the two biggest projects of the Master Plan expansion project.
The Aviation Authority authorized a $437 million contract to construct the Airport’s new rental car center and automated people mover. This sets the overall budget at $736 million, which represents more than 75 percent of the entire expansion.
The two projects are under budget even after adding several enhancements – such as moving sidewalks in the economy parking garage and increasing the size of the rental car center – to benefit passengers and our partners.
The board’s action was followed by a video presentation that takes viewers on an unprecedented virtual tour of the Airport's historic master plan expansion.
Unveiled at the meeting, two new videos offer the best picture to date of the master plan expansion, highlighting the new automated people mover and rental car center.
From the concept and design of the buildings, to the finishes and the lighting conditions, these animations offer a glimpse of the final product, scheduled for completion in late 2017.
The animation starts in the sky, circling the airport and offering up an aerial view of the new construction and the path the people mover will take between the rental car center and main terminal.
The video zooms into baggage claim, the starting point for passengers picking up their rental car or traveling to economy parking.
Passengers will leave baggage claim and take a three-story escalator to the new people mover station. The station, totaling roughly 88,000 square feet, features a striking modern design with glass walls, high wood-clad ceilings and sleek metal paneling.
From there, passengers hop on the people mover, traveling south to the Economy Parking Garage, a roughly a 1.2 mile trip that will take a little over three minutes.
After a brief stop, the train continues less than a quarter-mile to the new rental car center, where passengers exit the people mover right in in front of rental car customer service counters.
Including walking time, it will take just over 10 minutes to get from baggage claim to the state-of-the-art rental car center, which will feature faster and more efficient operations than today.
The second animation takes viewers on a reverse path, starting with vehicle drop-off at the rental car center and ending with a view of the automated people mover station from the main terminal’s outdoor terraces – one of the most striking architectural features of the project.
These projects are designed to decongest the Airport’s roadways, curbsides and Main Terminal.
In the first six months of this fiscal year, the Airport saw a 6.4 percent increase in passenger traffic compared to the same period last year. April is expected to be even stronger with a projected 10.9 percent growth over April 2014, amounting to nearly 178,000 more passengers passing through the terminals.
Take the virtual tour of the new rental car facility and automated people mover system on the Airport's YouTube channel.