Breaking News
More () »

Tampa Bay and Sarasota's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Tampa Bay and Sarasota, FL | WTSP.com

As travel picks back up, Tampa International Airport struggling to fill open positions

Airport officials say there could be potential impacts for passengers if more than 300 open positions aren’t filled.

TAMPA, Fla — As travelers return, officials at Tampa International Airport are looking to increase staffing levels to match.

At this time last year, just 3,000 passengers were moving through Tampa International Airport daily. Now, 53,000 passengers on average are flying in and out of the airport each day.

"Our tenants across the airport – whether shops and restaurants, ground handlers, rental cars – they're all looking for some additional help in the staffing department,"  airport spokesperson Danny Valentine said.

He says shops and restaurants, in particular, are in need of staff – from baristas to bartenders, to back-of-house work.

RELATED: Tampa International Airport looks to fill 300 positions amid staffing shortage

In all, the airport needs to fill more than 300 open positions after many workers furloughed because of slowdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t return.

“We're in the same boat as many frontline businesses,” Valentine said, adding the many of the airport’s tenants are offering different bonuses or bumped-up pay to entice job seekers.

About 100 people turned out for a recent job fair at the airport and about 40 were hired on the spot.

But with traveling picking back up, Valentine said airport officials are doing everything possible to help tenants rapidly fill positions.

If positions can’t be filled in a timely manner, Valentine said its possible passengers could see shortened hours at shops, limited menus at restaurants, and slower service for things like luggage delivery to baggage claim.

But for now, at least, it’s business as usual, he said.

“We're still providing a really high level of customer service,” Valentine said. “But there could be potential impacts down the road if we're unable to re-staff at appropriate levels as our passenger numbers increase."

Looking for a job? Here's a list of open positions at Tampa International Airport.

RELATED: Tampa International Airport to close COVID-19 testing site

What other people are reading right now:

►Breaking news and weather alerts: Get the free 10 Tampa Bay app

Stay In the Know! Sign up now for the Brightside Blend Newsletter