Tampa Airport achieves top awards for industry-leading innovations

Tampa International Airport (TPA) has been awarded four achievements for the airport’s industry-leading innovations and efforts.

Tampa Airport achieves top awards for industry-leading innovations

Tampa International Airport (TPA) and the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority collected four awards in eight days, bringing home prestigious state and regional honours for innovative projects completed in the past year.

FAC award

Credit: FAC’s J. Bryan Cooper Award

TPA swept both of FAC’s J. Bryan Cooper Awards for the Vision and Environmental categories after completing three major components of the airport’s Master Plan construction programme, as well as participating in carbon footprint reduction efforts.

The Vision Award, which TPA won for its Blue Express Curbsides, Central Utility Plant (CUP), and SkyCenter One building, recognises outstanding leaders or agencies that create innovations in balancing airport development and protecting the environment. All three projects were completed within the last nine months and help improve efficiencies in a sustainable way. The Blue Express Curbsides decongest TPA’s curbsides and create a more direct connection to the Main Terminal for passengers traveling without checked luggage. The Central Utility Plant is 30 per cent more efficient, removing the equivalent of about 620 vehicles off the road each year in carbon dioxide emissions, as well as saving 25 million gallons of water per year through the use of reclaimed water. The SkyCenter One building, which now houses Aviation Authority offices along with other leasing businesses, was recently awarded LEED Platinum certification and is the first new construction building in Tampa to receive the designation.

The Authority also won the Environmental Award for its participation in the Airports Council International (ACI) Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) programme, the only Aviation Authority in Florida committed to this effort. TPA, Peter O. Knight Airport, Tampa Executive Airport and Plant City Airport, which are all maintained by the Authority, are actively involved in the programme.

Also during the FAC Conference, the Blue Express Curbsides project was named the 2022 Commercial Service Airport Project of the Year by the Florida Department of Transportation. The award is given to a Florida airport demonstrating outstanding achievements in aesthetics, safety, and service. 

Finally, this week, the Blue Express Curbsides also won the Best Project in Airport/Transit by the Engineering News-Record Southeast. The Blue Express Curbsides opened in November 2021, allowing a faster and more seamless journey for travellers who don’t need to stop by the Ticketing or Baggage Claim levels.