© 2024 All Rights reserved WUSF
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Travelers, Construction At Tampa International Airport Will Pick Up In 2022, Budget Shows

An aerial view of Tampa International Airport

Tampa International Airport says leisure travel is leading to a faster than expected recovery for the airline industry.

Members of the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority, which governs Tampa International Airport, got their first look at the proposed 2022 budget last week.

TPA expects to finish the current fiscal year in the black, thanks to rising passenger numbers and federal relief money.

A chart showing projected passenger numbers at Tampa International Airport.
Tampa International Airport
Passenger figures at Tampa International Airport since 2016.

"At present the Authority is projecting to finish the FY2021 fiscal year with revenues approximately $12.5 million, or 5.7% higher than budget, operating expenses approximately $2.3 million, or 1.7% below budget, and its pre-capital bottom line approximately $9.4 million, or 34.9% better than the FY2021 Budget," the airport said in its introduction to the budget proposal.

Work will begin next year on projects delayed by the pandemic, like replacing some of the shuttle trains that run between the main terminal and the airside gates.

The airport forecasts it will serve 15,597,238 passengers this year and 20,551,722 in 2022. Pent-up demand for vacation travel is leading the turnaround.

"Despite passenger traffic approaching pre-COVID levels, operating revenues continue to be impacted by the combination of more leisure traffic and lower business and international passengers which has resulted in lower passenger spend," airport officials said.

The authority will vote on the budget at its next meeting, scheduled for Sept. 2.

Bradley George was a Morning Edition host and reporter at WUSF until March 2022.