A positive passenger experience is Hillsborough County Aviation Authority’s top priority. In fact, in 2010 J.D. Power and Associates ranked Tampa International Airport (TPA) as the third best mid-sized airport in America based on customer satisfaction. As part of a 20-year master plan to enhance the airport, HCAA hired Gresham Smith to modernize TPA’s main terminal. Working with the client to establish an overall vision based on guiding principles, our team transformed the traditional transit hub to a distinct, dynamic destination.


Hillsborough County Aviation Authority


Tampa, FL

Project Type



video walls


new flight information displays


new restrooms

Guiding Principles Lead the Way

Guiding Principles Lead the Way

Our team worked with airport leadership to establish an overall vision and guiding principles for the project. Our goals included:

  • Showcasing innovative technology
  • Adding warmth and brightness throughout the terminal
  • De-cluttering the terminal
  • Incorporating the essence of Tampa Bay to promote regional tourism

A Phased Approach

A Phased Approach

To meet project milestones we broke the project into three separate phases. During Phase 1 we renovated 30 public restrooms and the aviation authority’s offices, added a new United Service Organization suite, a traveler’s aid counter and a tourism information center, upgraded the valet parking and modified signage. Phase 2 included refurbishing walls and floors, upgrading elevator cores, improving escalators and adding new furniture. During Phase 3 we installed dynamic displays to enhance wayfinding and completed a brand-new airport gallery that showcases permanent and temporary art exhibitions.
Distinct Digital Displays

Distinct Digital Displays

As part of our technology and wayfinding improvements, we replaced the terminal’s small flight information monitors with 22 large, state-of-the-art displays with easy-to-read text. We added 15 LCD advertising screens in the baggage area, while seven large-format LCD and eight large-scale LED video walls throughout the terminal provide wayfinding information and display regional tourism videos and dynamic advertising.
A Top-Rated Customer Experience

A Top-Rated Customer Experience

Even during construction, TPA’s customer service ranking soared. In the 2013 Airport Service Quality Awards compiled by Airports Council International, the airport rose from fifth to third in the world for global airports which serve 15 million to 25 million passengers. TPA was also ranked third best airport for customer service in North America for the same period by ACI.


Project Contact

Our team is committed to improving the places we call home.

Bring genuine ingenuity to your community.

Grant Clifford, RIBA, LEED AP
Grant Clifford, RIBA, LEED AP
Senior Vice President