Juan's

Tampa International Airport

"America's Favorite Airport" Fan-Page

Hello and welcome, this site is dedicated to one of my favorite places on Earth.  Tampa International Airport is known around the world for its magnificent Landside/Airside Terminal.  Since its debut in 1971 air travelers and the media have praised this beautiful jetport.

October 19, 2007...A new historical page featuring airport guides and maps has been added.

Landside/Airside    Airlines    History    Image Galleries    Travelers Information

Landside/Airside

  During the early 1960s, the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority instructed the airport consulting firm of Leigh Fisher and Associates to design a jetport facility to replace the small and congested 1952 Terminal on the southeast corner of Tampa International Airport.  The aviation authority's primary requirements were minimal walking distances (700 feet or less) within the terminal, capacity to handle 20-million passengers annually and a facility that could be expanded without disruption to airport operations.  

  In an effort to develop a design that would satisfy the requirements of the aviation authority, Leigh Fisher sent its engineers on a six-month survey of North American air terminals to learn what their strengths and weaknesses were.  They would use this information to develop three terminal concepts for Tampa International Airport.  Concept A was a conventional Centralized Terminal design.  Concept B was a Vertical Terminal design with aircraft parking close to the main passenger terminal.  Concept C was the innovative Landside/Airside Terminal which was a radical new design.  Concept C was chosen in 1965 by the aviation authority after the three designs were introduced to the community and evaluated. 

  The chosen design resembled a spoke wheel with the main Landside Terminal (baggage claim and ticketing areas) at the hub and six Airside satellites (departure gates and aircraft) at the rim.  An automated people mover system would transport airline passengers between the Landside and Airside buildings.

  The terminal design team consisted of Leigh Fisher & Associates, J. E. Greiner Company (consulting engineers) and the Jacksonville firm of Reynolds, Smith & Hills (architects).  The design team chose an Intermodal Style that featured honey-brown concrete buildings with extensive bands of tinted curtain walls.  Terminal interiors were designed by the talented folks at Joseph A. Maxwell & Associates.  They created a lavish modern Florida look with widespread use of soft illumination, colorful hexagonal shapes and a heavy wood frieze on all overhead wall areas.     

  The single largest construction contract was awarded to McDevitt & Street Company (of Charlotte) which was responsible for the Landside Terminal and Airside C.  C. A. Feilland Company (of Tampa) was awarded the contract for building the remaining satellites.

  Work on the terminal began on October 28, 1968 (between the airport's parallel runways) with the construction of the taxiway overpass linking both runways and the support structures for the elevated people mover system.  

  By mid April 1971, the $80-million (1970 Dollars) terminal complex was completed and ready for airline service.  An estimated 60,000 visitors got a preview of the beautiful new terminal during a weekend open house held on April 10th and 11th.  Lucky members of the local and national news media were treated to briefings and tours on April 13th.  The following day, Florida Governor Reuben Askew dedicated the Landside/Airside Terminal complex with many local and state dignitaries in attendance.  National Airlines flight 36, from Los Angeles, was the first flight to arrive at the new facility on April 15, 1971.

  Initially the Landside/Airside Terminal was comprised of a six-level Landside Terminal Building, a Westinghouse People Mover System and four Airside satellites (Airsides B, C, D and E).  In its original configuration the terminal complex had an annual rated capacity of 12-million passengers and could simultaneously handle 40 Boeing 727-200 jetliners.  Airside and Landside improvements made during the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s have increased capacity to over 20-million passengers.  Today the terminal complex consist of the vintage Landside Terminal/Marriott Hotel, a Long Term Parking Garage, a Bombardier People Mover System and four modern Airside satellites.  

  The Landside Terminal is the largest structure in the complex.  The building is color coded with (blue and red) symbols to assist patrons in locating airlines and other facilities as quickly and easily as possible.  All the airlines serving the airport are assigned a color depending on their location within the Landside Terminal Building.  The blue airlines are located in the south side of the building and the red airlines are situated in the north.

  The nine-level Landside Terminal encompasses 2,055,220-square feet of which 783,641 are dedicated to passenger areas.  Level one (Baggage Claim) contains seventeen T-shaped belt-type luggage dispensers, the automated baggage conveyance system and ground transportation facilities.  Level two (Ticketing) houses eight ticket counter islands dedicated to baggage check-in and ticketing functions.  Level three (Transfer) is where the shuttle stations are located and where restaurants and shops can be found.  The luxurious 300-room Tampa Airport Marriott with its rooftop revolving restaurant is accessed thru a shopping arcade located on this level.  The upper floors (levels four thru nine) house the 3,500-space Short Term Parking Garage and the Long Term Parking Garage monorail stations (level five).  

  The Landside Terminal's efficient layout has made it a favorite with travelers from around the world.  Patrons never need to walk more than 300 feet between their automobiles and the shuttle stations.  Arriving and departing passengers follow separate paths which keep congestion to a minimum.  Four banks of twenty four (color coded) elevators and express escalators keep arriving and departing traffic moving smoothly within the building.  

  Beautiful artwork is displayed throughout the facility for the enjoyment of airport patrons.  Roy Butler's wonderful metal sculptured sea birds decorate the Ticketing Level while twenty-four panels of beautiful hand-woven tapestries depicting Florida's wildlife enhance the baggage claim areas.  The baggage claim area also features two 1,280-gallon saltwater aquariums that contain hundreds of tropical fish from the Florida Keys.  

  The automated people mover system employs fourteen electrically propelled 21.5-ton shuttle cars to convey passengers between the Transfer Level shuttle stations and the Airside satellites.  The Bombardier C-100 and CX-100 vehicles can transport 100-standing travelers at a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour.  The duration of the trip between Landside and Airside is about 45 seconds.  Two double-shuttle trains (serving an Airside) can transport 1,080 passengers within a period of ten minutes.  Capacity to move a large number of passengers is essential, since several large airliners may disembark travelers at an Airside satellite simultaneously.  The shuttle cars travel on 1,000-foot long elevated roadways (two for each Airside) set thirty feet apart.  

  This system was developed by Westinghouse Electric in the mid 1960's (for urban transit authorities) and was first placed into service at Tampa International Airport.  In 1996 the original Westinghouse C-100 shuttles (Airsides C & D) were replaced with more advanced CX-100 models.  It is estimated that the four original shuttle cars reliably traveled over 4.6-million miles during their twenty-five years in service.  The Westinghouse shuttles have been so successful that similar systems have been placed into service in Atlanta, Miami, Orlando, Pittsburgh and Seattle.

  Currently there are four Airside satellites (A, C, E and F) with a total of 63 gates designed to handle anything from a commuter turboprop to a Boeing 747-400.

  Airside A (gates 1-18) opened in May 1995 and was originally designed for Continental Airlines.  The 225,000-square foot, $96-million (1995 Dollars), three-story concourse can accommodate fifteen Boeing 757s or twelve Boeing 747-400s.  A ramp-level departure lounge/gate handles commuter airline traffic.  When required an an airline VIP club and a ramp-level US Customs/Immigration Center can be added to the facility.  Amenities for travelers include a 8,600-square foot food court and a 2,600-square foot retail area.  Thirty-foot high windows provide an excellent view of the ramp area and runway 18L-36R.  Airside A's tenants include AirTran, Continental, JetBlue and Northwest Airlines.

  Airside C (Gates 30-45) opened on April 20, 2005 and is the largest of the satellites.  This beautiful structure (designed by Alfonso Architects Inc and the HTNB Corporation) is designed to evoke a sense of wonder and excitement about the marvel of air travel.  The 315,000-square foot, $135-million, two-story concourse can accommodate 16 Boeing 757s or fewer 777s.  Two of its gates are capable of handling the Airbus A-380 Jumbo Jet.  The Airside was the first to be designed with the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) post 9/11 needs in mind.  The security checkpoint includes eight screening lanes that are expandable to ten.  Its lobby features "Final Boarding Call" a beautiful mural which portrays an evocative gate scene at TPA's old 1952 Terminal Building.  Florida artist Christopher Still did extensive historical research before creating this wonderful 11' X 17' mural.  Other great public art pieces displayed at the satellite include 'Specula" a series of 26 mosaic floor medallions, Q an aviation sculpture which is suspended above the central retail area and "Barnstormer" a 1000 pound silicon and bronze sculpture of a 1920s aviator.  Airside C employs four of the former CX-100 Shuttle Cars that served the old Airsides C and D.  The vehicles which date back to 1996 were significantly refurbished saving the airport over $4-million.  Airside C's tenants include Southwest and Spirit Airlines.

  Airside D (gates 46-55A) was demolished in May 2007 to make way for an overnight hardstand.  The building was the last of the original 1971 satellites in operation.  Its two concourses could accommodate ten Boeing 757s or eight Boeing 767s.  Originally occupied by Northeast, Northwest and United Airlines, the facility later became home to low cost carriers like AirTran, Independence Air, JetBlue and Spirit Airlines.

  Airside E (gates 62-75) opened on October 16, 2002.  The 275,000-square foot, $120-million, three-story facility can accommodate fourteen Boeing 757s or fewer Boeing 777s.  The Airside features several murals (depicting historical aviation images) created by local artist George Snow Hill during the late 1930s.  Greeting passengers arriving at the Airside are 21-foot high preserved Hawaiian Kentia Palms and a mural depicting the world's first scheduled airline flight (arriving at Tampa).  Airside E was the first satellite to be equipped with an automated baggage handling system.  This transference system can handle forty bags per minute and can send a checked piece of luggage from the Landside Terminal to the Airside's sorting center in less than five minutes.  Airside E's tenants include Air Canada, Delta and United Airlines.

  Airside F (gates 76-90) opened on November 4, 1987 and was specifically designed to handle arriving international flights.  The 184,448-square foot, $83-million (1987 Dollars), two-story concourse can accommodate fifteen Boeing 757s or twelve Boeing 767 airliners.  Seven of the Airside's gates are directly connected to a 60,000-square foot US Customs and Immigration Center.  Passenger services include an airline VIP club, food court and retail area.  American Airlines and US Airways are the satellite's primary tenants.

Terminal Diagram

  Future plans for the Landside/Airside Terminal include the expansion of the Blue and Red Baggage Claim Areas.  The former Airside D will probably be replaced by a new 8-10 gate facility.  When the projects are completed, the Landside/Airside Terminal complex will be able to annually handle 25-million passengers.  Airport capacity can be increased to 50-million passengers by building a second Landside/Airside Terminal complex (north of the existing facility) and with the addition of a third north/south runway.

Airlines     

Carrier

Arrivals & Departures

Gates

Air Canada

Red

Airside E

AirTran

Red

Airside A

America West

Blue

Airside F

American Airlines

Blue

Airside F

British Airways

Red

Airside F

Cayman Airways

Blue

Airside F

Comair Airlines

Blue

Airside E

Continental Airlines

Red

Airside A

Delta Airlines

Blue

Airside E

Frontier Airlines

Red

Airside A

Gulf Stream Intl. Airlines

Red

Airside A

JetBlue Airways

Blue

Airside A

Midwest

Red

Airside C

Northwest Airlines

Blue

Airside A

Song Airlines

Blue

Airside E

Southwest Airlines

Red

Airside C

Spirit Airlines

Red

Airside C

Sun Country  Blue Airside E

Ted Airlines

Red

Airside E

United Airlines

Red

Airside E

US Airways

Blue

Airside F

US Airways Express

Blue 

Airside F

Westjet

Red

Airside F

Note: Airline locations are subject to change and carriers may discontinue service.

Airport Facts

Distance From City Five miles west of Downtown Tampa
Airport Size 3,400-Acres
Operating Agency Hillsborough County Aviation Authority

 

Movements 2006
Aircraft 257,800 Takeoffs and Landings
Daily Airliner Operations 540 Takeoffs and Landings
Passengers 18,800,000
Freight 209,800,000 Pounds
Mail 26,300,000 Pounds

 

Runways
09-27 7,000' X 150'
18L-36R 8,300' X 150'
18R-36L 11,000' X 150'
Airport Diagram

History

  1914-The world's first airline (St Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line) commences operations between the two cities with a Benoist Flying Boat flown by pioneer aviator Tonny Jannus...1927-One hundred and sixty acres of land are purchased by the City of Tampa, from real estate developer John Drew, for the purpose of building an airport...1928-Drew Field (Tampa International Airport) is opened six miles west of Downtown Tampa...1934-National Airlines begins operating between St Petersburg (Albert Whitted Airport) and Daytona Beach with Tampa as an intermediate stop...1935-The Peter O' Knight Airport opens at Davis Island near Downtown Tampa...Eastern and National Airlines begin scheduled service to Peter O' Knight...1936-The Douglas DC-3 enters commercial airline service (American Airlines) and is operated by Eastern Airlines...1940-1945-Control of Drew Field is turned over to the army and the facility is used to train 120,000 combat air crews...While in government control, the airport is expanded to 11,000 acres and its runways are lengthened...1941-McDill Army Air Force Base is opened southwest of Downtown Tampa.

  1945-The Hillsborough County Aviation Authority is created by a special act of the Florida Legislature...1946-Drew Field is returned to local authorities by the US Army Air force...The base operations building is converted into a passenger terminal...Eastern and National Airlines relocate to Drew Field...The Lockheed Constellation enters commercial airline service (Trans World Airlines) and is operated by Eastern Airlines...1947-The Douglas DC-6 enters commercial airline service (American and United Airlines) and is operated by National Airlines...1950-Trans Canada Airlines (Air Canada) begins scheduled service...Drew Field is renamed Tampa International Airport...1952-The airport's second passenger terminal is opened near the intersection of Columbus and West Shore Blvd...1957-1959-Five major airlines (Capital, Delta, Northeast, Northwest and Trans World Airlines) are awarded nonstop routes from several Midwest and New England cities...The terminal is swamped by the new arrivals and is expanded to handle the growth in traffic.

  1958-The Boeing 707 enters commercial airline service (Pan American)...1959-Eastern Airlines inaugurates jet-powered Lockheed L-188 Electra service...The Douglas DC-8 enters commercial airline service (Delta and United Airlines)...1960-National Airlines inaugurates Douglas DC-8 turbojet service...1961-Pan American begins scheduled service to Mexico City...Leigh Fisher and Associates begin preliminary design work on a replacement jetport terminal for TPA...1963-Runway 18R-36L is opened to aircraft operations...Westinghouse Electric develops an automated shuttle vehicle for urban mass transit systems...1964-The Boeing 727 enters commercial airline service (Eastern Airlines) and is operated by National, Northwest and United Airlines...1965-After evaluating three terminal concepts, the Landside/Airside Terminal is chosen by the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority...The Douglas DC-9 enters commercial airline service (Delta Airlines) and is operated by Eastern Airlines...An experimental Westinghouse people mover system (Sky Bus) begins operating at a test facility in Pittsburgh...1967-The Douglas DC-8-61 enters commercial airline service (Delta and United Airlines) and is operated by Eastern and National Airlines...1968-Construction begins on the Landside/Airside Terminal...The Boeing 737 enters commercial airline service (United Airlines)...1970-The Boeing 747 Jumbo-Jet enters commercial airline service (Pan American).

  1971-The Landside/Airside Terminal opens to scheduled airline service...Northwest Airlines inaugurates Boeing 747 Jumbo-Jet service...The McDonnell Douglas DC-10 enters commercial airline service (American and United Airlines) and is operated by National and Northwest Airlines...1972-The FAA Air Traffic Control Tower (adjacent to the Landside Terminal) opens and is the tallest in the United States...Eastern Airlines inaugurates Lockheed L-1011 TriStar service...1973-The Host/Marriott Airport Hotel (adjacent to the Landside Terminal) opens...1975-The 1952 Terminal Building is demolished...1977-Eastern Airlines inaugurates Airbus A-300 service...1980-Runway 18R-36L is lengthened to 11,000 feet...1981-A new general aviation center is opened at the site of the 1952 Terminal...Florida's second Landside/Airside Terminal opens to scheduled airline service at Orlando International Airport...1982-The Boeing 767 enters commercial airline service (United Airlines) and is operated by Delta Airlines...1983-Eastern Airlines inaugurates Boeing 757 service...The first flight is operated between Atlanta and Tampa...The newly expanded (Landside Terminal) Short Term Parking Garage opens...Capacity is increased from 1,670 to 3,900-parking spaces...The 165,000-square foot Delta Airlines Maintenance Base opens...1984-Air freight operations are moved from the Airsides to the Consolidated Air Cargo Terminal...1987-Airside F (American, Piedmont and US Airways) opens...1988-The Airbus A-320 enters commercial airline service (Air France) and is operated by Northwest, United and US Airways.

  1991-The first phase of the Long Term Parking Garage opens adding 4,744-parking spaces...Airside B (Eastern Airlines) is closed after its tenant ceases operations...1994-The US Airways Maintenance Base opens...1995-Airside A (Continental Airlines) opens...The Boeing 777 enters commercial airline service (American and United Airlines) and is operated by Delta Airlines...1996-George J. Bean (Hillsborough County Aviation Authority Executive Director) retires after 32 years of service...1997-Airside E (National Airlines and Pan American) closes after 25 years of operations...2000-Airside E is demolished...2002-New Airside E (Air Canada, Delta and United Airlines) opens...2003-The US Airways Maintenance Base is closed...Airside B and Airside C (Delta and Trans World Airlines) are demolished...2005-New Airside C (Southwest and Spirit Airlines) opens...Airside D closes after 34 years of operations...Phase 1 of the Economy Parking Garage opens adding 3,300-parking spaces...2006-The Rental Car Garage opens adding 710-parking spaces...The 28,000-square foot Consolidated Fire Station opens...2007-Airside D is demolished.

What happened to Airside B?  The story of TPA's original Airsides.

West Shore Terminal  The story of TPA's old terminal building.

Tampa International Airport  Old Guides and Maps

Carrier

Years of Service

Air Canada (Trans Canada Airlines) 1950-Present
Air Florida 1974-1984
AirTran Airways 1997-Present
American Airlines 1979-Present
Braniff International Airways 1969-1982
British Airways 1985-Present
Capital Airlines 1959-1961
Cayman Airways 1987-Present
Continental Airlines 1977-Present
Delta Airlines 1959-Present
Eastern Airlines 1946-1991
JetBlue Airways 2000-Present
Mackey Airlines 1955-1967
Midway Airlines 1995-2002
National Airlines 1946-1980
Northeast "Yellow Birds" 1957-1961  1966-1972
Northwest Airlines 1958-Present
Ozark Airlines 1978-1986
Pan American 1961-1978  1980-1991
Piedmont Airlines 1979-1989
Republic Airlines 1978-1986
Southwest Airlines 1996-Present
Trans World Airlines 1958-2001
United Airlines 1961-Present
US Airways (Allegheny) 1978-Present

Image Galleries

Postcard/Photo Gallery  View images from my extensive postcard and photo collection.

Photo Gallery  View images taken by the webmaster during outings to TPA.

Traveler's Information

Airport Hotel

  The Tampa Airport Marriott is a beautiful 300-room (soundproof) hotel with a rooftop revolving restaurant.  Hotel amenities include a veranda swimming pool, CK's Rooftop Restaurant (great view of the airport!), Cafe Elise, Skyye Lounge and a Sun Trust Bank.  There are meeting and banquet facilities for groups from 10 to 1,000 people.

Car Rentals

  Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz and Thrifty are found at the car rental facilities across the walkways from the Blue and Red Baggage Claim Areas.

Getting There

Parking Information

  Short Term Garage:  This convenient parking facility can accommodate 3,500 vehicles within six levels above the Landside Terminal Building.  Patrons can ride 24 elevators between the garage and the Baggage Claim, Ticketing and Transfer Levels.

  Long Term Parking Garage:  This vast structure is located south of the Landside Terminal and can accommodate 7,600 vehicles.  Travelers can ride a monorail system which circles through the Long Term Parking Garage or use two pedestrian walkways to reach the main passenger terminal.  Monorail stations (named after famous aviators) are located on level five of the Long Term Parking Garage and Landside Terminal Building.  The walkways are situated on the second level of the Long Term Parking Garage and Transfer Level (blue side) of the Landside Terminal.

  Economy Garage:  This $71-million, six-level facility can accommodate 5,500 vehicles and is easily accessible from the George Bean Parkway (main airport terminal road).  A shuttle bus transports airport patrons between the parking garage and the Landside Terminal Building. 

Facility Parking Rates
Short Term Garage $1.25 per half hour and $18.00 daily maximum
Long Term Garage $1.25 per half hour and $14.00 daily maximum
Economy Garage $7.00 per day
Note: Parking rates are subject to change.

Restaurants

  Fine Restaurants at the Landside Terminal Building (Transfer Level) include TGI Fridays and the Wharf Grill and Brew House.  Also located within the Transfer Level are two food courts which include popular fast food establishments like Burger King, Pizza Hut and Wall Street Deli.  The Airside Terminals feature various fast food concessions/restaurants and cocktail lounges.  Pizza Hut and Quiznos are located within Airside A at the food court near the AirTran, Continental, JetBlue and Northwest Airlines gates.  Chili's Restaurant is located at the south side of Airside C while the Tampa Bay Home Team Sports Bar and Grill is situated in the north side.  Casa Bacardi and DaVinci's Cafe are located at Airside E near the Delta Airlines gates.  A second Chili's Restaurant is located at Airside F in the food court near the US Airways gates.  Starbucks Coffee establishments can be found at the Transfer Level of the Landside Terminal Building and within all of the Airside satellites.

Shopping

  The Transfer Level at the Landside Terminal Building features the Tampa Bay Galleria and the Airport Marriott Arcade.  The Galleria (a collection of fourteen upscale shops) includes Authors Bookstore, Bijoux Terner, Florida Market, Florida Shop, Inmotion Entertainment, Mindworks, News Central, Ron Jon Surf Shop, Sports Scene, Sunglass International, Tie Rack, Tranquility Boutique, Tropical Expressions and Wilsons-The Leather Experts.  The Airport Marriott Arcade has six fine shops and boutiques which include a bookstore and gift shop.  Airsides A, C, E and F have gift shops and newsstands.  Duty Free Shops are available at Airside E and F.

Other Sites by Webmaster

Golldiecat's Airport-Page  A historical site about the great airport terminals of the Southeast.

"If you have any comments or suggestions please feel free to send me an e-mail."

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