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Tampa Airport Latest to Halt Construction Plans

Monday, June 15, 2020

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The $906 million construction plans for Tampa International Airport could be the next big project on the chopping block due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting drop in air travel traffic.

Officials earlier this month said that they are either delaying or canceling the projects that were slated to take place over the next five years.

What’s Happening

“We’re going to put our plans and dreams on hold,” airport Chief Executive Officer Joe Lopano told the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority. “These are tough decisions, but we continue to operate. We haven’t skipped a beat at this airport.”

The Tampa Bay Times reports that the biggest single project to be impacted is the Airside D project, which had planned to add 16 new gates for domestic and international flights with a price tag of $690 million.

Tpa ops27, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The $906 million construction plans for Tampa International Airport could be the next big project on the chopping block due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting drop in air travel traffic.

That project was slated to be complete in 2024, instead it’s delayed until then.

Lopano said that officials will continue to reevaluate as the market comes back and notes that projects that are already underway in the airport’s larger, $2 billion expansion plan will continue.

Other Delays

Tampa isn’t the only airport—in the state, let alone the country—to reconsider renovation plans in light of the global health crisis.

Officials with the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority announced late last month that they have cut into the budget for the Orlando International Airport’s South Terminal project.

Before the health crisis, the airport was committed to spending $4 billion on overall construction and expansions, including the $3 billion terminal project. Now, the authority agreed to cut $371 million total—$226 million from the terminal plan.

The reductions will be seen in downgrading the 19 planned gates to 15, which eliminates the need for an entire wing and related facilities.

In other states, such as Pennsylvania, airport plans are put on suspended entirely, including the $1.1 billion overhaul for the Pittsburgh International Airport, which officials confirmed last month has been put on hold indefinitely.

Unlike Tampa, officials in Pittsburgh wouldn’t speculate on how long the project would be delayed, though the terminal was expected to be complete in 2023, with project bids originally anticipated to be released by the end of this year.

Other Airports

On the flip side, however, there are also several airport projects that are able to take advantage of the lower passenger rates to speed up and complete projects ahead of schedule.

Denver City Council signed off recently on airport officials’ proposal to accelerate with the Denver International Airport project by approving an increase to the budget of $560 million.

And in New York, state government and airlines are in agreement as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced plans for a “supercharged” reopening of New York City, which involves a fast-track for multiple infrastructure plans, including work at the $8 billion LaGuardia Airport project.

In addition to the governor’s announcement, Delta Air Lines also recently revealed that it’s looking to finish construction “much, much sooner” than originally planned, taking advantage of reduced airport traffic amid the COVID-10 pandemic.

View all of PaintSquare Daily News' coverage on COVID-19, here.


Tagged categories: Airports; Commercial Construction; COVID-19; Maintenance + Renovation; NA; North America; Renovation

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