TAMPA, Florida — Tampa International Airport has major plans to expand its security checkpoints to accommodate the growing number of travelers, and construction has already begun in two major buildings.
As the airport describes, airsides A and E "have inadequate space for modern security checkpoint needs," leading to bottlenecks for passengers trying to make their flights. And it makes sense — neither terminal has undergone major expansion since they opened in 1995 and 2002.
The plan is to do an overhaul of the two airsides, transforming the pre-9/11 designs into a well-organized space that can accommodate modern TSA security requirements.
“For the last two decades, we’ve leveraged the original airside designs to their fullest,” Matthew DeLoatche, TPA's senior manager of planning and development, said. “But now, we’ve reached the point that annual passenger growth, and our commitment to providing the best passenger experience, dictate that these facilities grow as well.”
Airsides A and E will expand by 20,560 square feet and 19,542 square feet, respectively, and will each feature seven security screening lanes and nearly four times the pre-security queueing space.
TPA Airsides A and E before and after expansion
Although each facility will expand by tens of thousands of square feet, the airport says impacts to travelers will be minimal.
“We understand that security screening can often be one of the more stressful aspects of air travel. We also know that large-scale construction at airsides that are constantly in use comes with unique challenges,” DeLoatche added. “These new, expanded checkpoints will enhance the customer experience, and will be well worth the wait."
The total cost of the project is $65.1 million, which is funded almost entirely by bonds and grants from the Florida Department of Transportation.
Work is expected to be completed in the summer of 2025.