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TPA looks for your input as they design an expansion

TPA officials held a community meeting in St. Petersburg as they are planning to construct a new airside terminal in the airport.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Tampa International Airport officials are excited to announce plans to expand the airport.

Officials are looking for ways to expand along with the area's future growth, and a part of that initiative includes plans for a new airside terminal and modernization features for the airport.

A community meeting was held Wednesday night in St. Petersburg to hear input from the public and to explain what they are planning to do.

There are plans to build TPA's first airside terminal in almost 20 years. The new feature will be installed at Airside D.

A new airside terminal will allow the airport to serve nearly ten million more people a year by adding three levels with 16 gates.

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This terminal will help the airport serve up to 35 million yearly passengers once the project is finished in 2027. 

With more people traveling to the Tampa Bay region, TPA CEO explained it can help tourism and businesses. 

"We have to stay ahead of the curve and not only drive that growth for tourism, but for businesses and we think this plan keeps us well ahead of the curve," Joe Lopano said.

Airport officials said they are working on expanding international travel, and a  new terminal can also help with that. 

"We will be able to serve Amsterdam, Paris, who knows, could be more South America. That’s where we are aiming," Lopano added.

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The plan includes future technology like self-driving cars and E-gates.

As far as funding goes, it’s going to cost $787,384,000. 

"The airlines will pay a portion of it. The passengers will pay a portion of it. Some of it will come from grants from the state," Lopano said.

Wednesday's event is the second of three community outreach meetings TPA is hosting as a way to keep the public informed with the latest details of the 2022 Master Plan Update process. The third and final meeting is scheduled for the spring of 2023.  

The Federal Aviation Administration has the final approval. That will happen when the plans are submitted in about a year.

If you have any sort of input, you can submit it online.

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