Make us your home page

Tampa International Airport officials expect slight gain in travelers next year

Sharp declines in passengers at Tampa International Airport should give way to modest growth in the coming year, airport officials say.

Just over 17.5 million travelers will fly into or out of the airport for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1, a 2 percent increase over a year earlier, officials forecast in their proposed budget for 2009-10.

"That's not overly optimistic," said Louis Miller, the airport's executive director. "We think Christmas will be better. We think Thanksgiving will be a little better."

The past year has been dreadful. Since October 2008, airline downsizing and shrinking demand for air travel nationally caused a 10 percent drop in passengers at Tampa International Airport from a year earlier.

That blew a hole in the Hills­borough Aviation Authority's budget, reducing revenue from parking, car rentals, airport restaurants and stores. The airport took money-saving measures, from running just one shuttle to airside terminals in off-peak periods to closing escalators and freezing hiring and salaries.

The cost cuts will continue. The authority, with a staff of 636, also will eliminate 21 open jobs and won't fill 18 vacancies. No new preliminary work will begin on the planned $1 billion north terminal. Once slated to open in 2015, the complex now could be pushed back as far as 2023, Miller said.

Even with projected passenger growth, the authority expects revenue to be off nearly 2 percent at $168.8 million for the coming year.

The aviation authority's board is scheduled to vote on the budget at its Sept. 3 meeting.

Steve Huettel can be reached at or (813) 226-3384.

Tampa International Airport officials expect slight gain in travelers next year 08/13/09 [Last modified: Thursday, August 13, 2009 9:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa is 15th-most popular city to move to with U-Haul


    TAMPA —Tampa is undoubtedly a destination point, at least according to U-Haul.

    Tampa is the No. 15 destination for people moving with U-Haul trucks. | Times file photo
  2. Florida's economy growing faster than other big states and far better than U.S. overall


    When it comes to economic growth, Florida's running alongside the leading states and well ahead of the United States as a whole.

  3. Westshore Marina District project takes shape with another acquisition

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — One of Tampa Bay's prime waterfront areas took another major step toward redevelopment Friday as WCI Communities bought 2.35 acres in Westshore Marina District.

    WCI Communities, Lennar's high-end subsidiary,has paid $2.5 million for 2.35 acres in the Westshore Marina District for 35 townhomes. WCI is under contract  to buy an additional 9.5 acres.
[BTI Partners]
  4. Posh Guy Harvey RV park to open in Tampa Bay with $250,000 cottages


    HOLIDAY — Love those Guy Harvey T-shirts with the soaring marlins? In the not too distant future, you might be able to kick back in your own Guy Harvey cottage in the first-ever Guy Harvey RV park.

    Renderings of the clubhouse and an RV cottage site of the planned Guy Harvey Outpost Club & Resort Tarpon Springs.
[Guy Harvey Outpost Collection]
  5. Port Tampa Bay secures $9 million grant to deepen Big Bend Channel


    Port Tampa Bay has secured a $9 million grant from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the widening and deepening of the Big Bend Channel in southern Hillsborough County.