(January 11, 2018) The airline tallies are in: Tampa International Airport saw a record number of passengers in 2017.
Last year, 19,624,284 people flew through TPA, which beats the previous record of 19,154,957 passengers in 2007.
This record comes as no surprise, as TPA had a very busy 2017 seeing double-digit year-over-year growth during peak travel months. The Airport saw record numbers during its March and April spring break period and saw 11.1 percent more passengers in December 2017 vs. December 2016. In 2017, airlines at TPA launched nonstop service to Iceland, San Francisco, Salt Lake City and Colorado Springs. Frontier Airlines added 11 new routes from Tampa, and Copa Airlines announced it will be adding frequencies to its Panama City route this summer after a great 2017.
“This passenger milestone is a major indicator of growth and prosperity not only for TPA but for the entire Tampa Bay region,” Tampa International Airport CEO Joe Lopano said. “Thanks to the Airport Board, the hard work of the airport team and our community partners, we’ve had a tremendous 2017 and we’re well positioned for more growth in 2018.”
The passenger record announcement comes as TPA finishes the largest expansion project in airport history, opens 69 new shops, restaurants and services and prepares to unveil next month a new 1.5-mile SkyConnect train connecting passengers to a state-of-the-art rental car center. The Airport is also planning a second phase of construction that will include expanded Main Terminal curbsides, offices, a hotel and other commercial development.
“These passenger numbers only reinforce the need for better infrastructure, better facilities and smart expansion to support this growth,” Hillsborough County Aviation Authority Board Chairman Robert Watkins said. “Fortunately, TPA is ahead of the game as it completes its largest construction program in Airport history and prepares for a second phase of construction that will begin this year.”
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who also sits on the HCAA Board, praised TPA for its work in adding new air service and creating a world-class facility to welcome new visitors, residents and businesses to Tampa.
“I said it before and I’ll say it again: This is truly Tampa’s time,” Buckhorn said. “We now have more than double the international visitors coming to Tampa than we did when Joe Lopano arrived at TPA seven years ago and that translates to hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of jobs each year. This is a result of the hard work by a lot of folks at TPA, but also reflects Tampa’s reputation as being a wonderful place to work, live and play.”
TPA 2017 Fun Facts
TOTAL PASSENGERS: In 2017, Tampa International Airport served 19,624,284 passengers, which is roughly the number of residents living in the state of New York.
BUSIEST DAY: TPA saw 77,800 passengers on Dec. 30, 2017, making it the busiest day of the busiest year in TPA’s history.
AIRPLANE OPERATIONS: TPA had 554 total commercial flights on Dec. 29 – the most for a single day in 2017.
BUSIEST DAY FOR LUGGAGE: TPA moved 28,781 pieces of outbound luggage on March 18, making it the busiest day of the year.
BUSIEST CONCESSIONS DAY: The Airport’s restaurants, bars and shops served 35,676 customers on Dec. 23, more than any other day in 2017.
BUSIEST PARKING DAY: TPA had 11,987 parking transactions – including many one-hour free stays – on Nov. 26 for the busiest day of parking of the year.
NEW FLIGHTS: TPA added 22 new flights in 2017, including four new destinations: San Francisco, Rekjavik, Colorado Springs and Salt Lake City
MOST GROWTH: December 2017 saw 11 percent growth year-over-year, more than any other month.