Tampa Airport starts $1bn expansion project

2 December 2014 (Last Updated December 2nd, 2014 18:30)

Tampa International Airport in the US has started a three-year expansion project that will cost an estimated amount of $1bn.

Tampa International Airport in the US has started a three-year expansion project that will cost an estimated amount of $1bn.

In the first phase, the airport will close a number of the taxi and bus stands near its baggage claims area, as well as renovate the main terminal with new concessions and an outdoor terrace and build a new rental car facility and people mover.

The airport will also expand and renovate its third-floor terminal into a sleeker building with additional room for ventilation.

"This first phase of a multi-year master plan will help double its passenger capacity from 17 million today to 34 million by 2033."

Approximately $689m will be raised in bonds by the airport, which is set to cover 73% of the cost by new debt.

The airport says its masterplan expansion is expected to create close to 9,000 construction-related jobs and will also create more than 1,000 new permanent jobs.

This will be the first major expansion at Tampa Airport since its opening in 1971. The expansion project is scheduled to be completed in 2017.

The Sun Coast News had quoted board chairman Robert Watkins during the airport's groundbreaking ceremony as saying: "The airport is the crown jewel of this community and this first phase of a multi-year master plan will help double its passenger capacity from 17 million today to 34 million by 2033."

The airport currently employs around 7,500 employees, including people working for the airlines, the airport, rental car companies, restaurants and shops.