Make us your home page
Instagram

Steven Burton elected chairman of the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority

Steven Burton, who shook up Tampa International Airport two years ago with his early criticism of then-executive director Louis Miller, was elected Thursday as chairman of the airport's governing board.

In his new position, Burton could hold considerable influence over how the airport develops. The down economy put the brakes on plans to build a $1 billion first phase of a new terminal north of the original landside terminal.

As recently as five years ago, TIA's long-term plan called for building the first phase by 2015. But declining passenger traffic pushed back the need for the terminal to 2025.

Burton and the board will have to decide whether to stick with the plans or take a different course. Removing the north terminal from the map — or delaying construction further — could lead to new commercial ventures on airport property or even advance mass transit, Burton said.

"It could keep room for a rail corridor, rapid bus transit, maybe even a monorail to International Plaza mall," he said.

But that would require new work to relieve congestion at the main terminal. That could involve expanding the size of the third-floor transfer level, moving rental car operations out of the terminal area and finding more ways to divert vehicles waiting to pick up and drop off passengers.

Managing partner at the Tampa law office of Broad and Cassel and a longtime Republican fundraiser, Burton, 50, joined the board in 2009. He was soon bumping heads with Miller over his inability to recruit more international flights to Tampa.

Burton and other board members peppered Miller with questions about his judgment on other issues, and he resigned after nearly 14 years at TIA in February 2010. Miller subsequently won the top job at Atlanta's airport, the world's busiest.

Thursday's meeting was the first for new member Robert Watkins and the last for Al Austin, the former chairman and longest-serving board member with 12 years.

Austin took time to salute chief executive Joe Lopano, who took over after Miller left. Austin, at first, doubted that the new boss could deliver additional international flights to Tampa. He now thinks Lopano will pull it off.

''In eight months, you've convinced me of something I didn't think could happen," he said. "I trust you're going to achieve that."

In other airport business:

• Airport officials said the first new flights from TIA to Cuba — scheduled for Sept. 10 — are sold out.

• The board passed a $178 million budget for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1 that includes a $2.50 fee on every rental car contract at TIA and a 3 percent raise for Hillsborough County Aviation Authority employee their first in three years.

Steve Huettel can be reached at huettel@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3384.

Steven Burton elected chairman of the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority 09/01/11 [Last modified: Thursday, September 1, 2011 9:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. For Gov. Rick Scott, 'fighting' could mean vetoing entire state budget

    State Roundup

    Every day, Gov. Rick Scott is getting a lot of advice.

    The last time a Florida governor vetoed the education portion of the state budget was in 1983. Gov. Bob Graham blasted fellow Democrats for their “willing acceptance of mediocrity.”
  2. Potential new laws further curb Floridians' right to government in the Sunshine

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — From temporarily shielding the identities of murder witnesses to permanently sealing millions of criminal and arrest records, state lawmakers did more this spring than they have in all but one of the past 22 years to chip away at Floridians' constitutional guarantees to access government records and …

    The Legislature passed 17 new exemptions to the Sunshine Law, according to a tally by the First Amendment Foundation.
  3. Data breach exposes 469 Social Security numbers, thousands of concealed weapons holders

    Corporate

    Social Security numbers for up to 469 people and information about thousands of concealed weapons holders were exposed in a data breach at Florida the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The breach, which the agency believes happened about two weeks ago, occurred in an online payments system, spokesperson …

    Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam on Monday that nearly 500 people may have had their Social Security numbers obtained in a data breach in his office.
[Times file photo]

  4. Trigaux: Can Duke Energy Florida's new chief grow a business when customers use less power?

    Energy

    Let's hope Harry Sideris has a bit of Harry Houdini in him.

    Duke Energy Florida president Harry Sideris laid out his prioriities for the power company ranging from improved customer service to the use of more large-scale solar farms to provide electricity. And he acknowledged a critical challenge: People are using less electricity these days. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  5. Citigroup agrees to pay nearly $100 million fine for Mexican subsidiary

    Banking

    NEW YORK — Citigroup has agreed to pay nearly $100 million to federal authorities to settle claims that a lack of internal controls and negligence in the bank's Mexican subsidiary may have allowed customers to commit money laundering.

    Citigroup has agreed to pay nearly $100 million to federal authorities to settle claims that a lack of internal controls and negligence in the bank's Mexican subsidiary may have allowed customers to commit money laundering. 
[Associated Press file photo]