1. Business

Tampa International recognized as best airport developing new routes in the Americas

TAMPA — Tampa International Airport was recognized as the best airport in the Western Hemisphere at attracting new airlines and new destinations.

The airport on Monday was awarded the 2014 Routes Marketing Award for the Americas at the annual Routes Americas forum, held this year in Santa Ana, El Salvador. It's the annual airline network planning conference where airports, airlines and tourist agencies get together to discuss developing new commercial airline routes.

TIA was recognized for working with community partners to market itself to new airlines. Tampa won its category of the best airport serving 4 million to 20 million passengers, besting Pittsburgh International, Oakland International, Portland International in Oregon and Southwest Florida International in Lee County.

It also topped the winner of the over-20 million passenger category, George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, and the under-4 million category, Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau, Bahamas, to win the award for best overall airport.

In recent months TIA has added flights to Switzerland, Cuba, Panama and, most recently, Seattle. Now Tampa International is eligible to be named the world's best airport when the World Routes 2014 conference convenes in Chicago from Sept. 20 to 23.