Since 1998, the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority (HCAA) has partnered with Gresham Smith for architecture, engineering and interior design needs at Tampa International Airport (TPA). As the gateway to Tampa Bay and beyond, the airport serves more than 19 million passengers annually. To address the airport’s rapid growth, TPA has embarked on renovations, modernizations and expansions. Thanks to well-planned improvements and updates to its facilities, amenities and infrastructure and extra attention to the passenger experience, TPA is consistently ranked as one of the top airports in the U.S.


Hillsborough County Aviation Authority


Tampa, FL

Project Type





annual passengers


year partnership with HCAA


checked bags daily

Modernizing the Main Terminal

Modernizing the Main Terminal

HCAA hired our team to upgrade the interior of the airport’s Main Terminal. Our goals throughout the project included adding warmth and brightness, de-cluttering the space,  showcasing innovative technology and embodying the essence of Tampa Bay. The three-phase project required detailed phasing and coordination with maintenance and operations staff to avoid disrupting airport service. In the end, the modernization project successfully transformed TPA from a traditional transit hub to a modern, global gateway.
Creating a Pleasant Parking Experience

Creating a Pleasant Parking Experience

 As TPA continued to experience rapid growth, the airport was quickly running out of parking. Gresham Smith designed two, six-level parking garages at TPA, which more than doubled available parking at the airport. In addition to the garages we also designed a new parking administration building, toll plazas and a cell phone waiting lot, as well as extensive signage and wayfinding. The large, spacious garages help alleviate some of the stress travelers experience when arriving at the airport.
A Better Baggage Claim

A Better Baggage Claim

Due to the increase in passengers, the airport’s baggage claim areas were getting increasingly crowded. Undersized baggage carousels created bottlenecks and poor lighting further added to the chaos. The upgrades we designed greatly increased passenger flow, allowing travelers to easily grab their bag and get on their way.
Consolidated Rental Car Center and Automated People Mover

Consolidated Rental Car Center and Automated People Mover

The most recently completed project at TPA is the Rental Car Center and SkyConnect Automated People Mover. We designed 1.4 miles of guideway, which connects the Main Terminal to the new 2.6-million-square-foot Rental Car Center, as well as the Economy Parking Garage. The new Rental Car Center reduces congestion on the airport’s roadways, while the SkyConnect system improves connectivity.


“The completion of SkyConnect and the Rental Car Center is a critical part of the overall modernization at Tampa International Airport. We are committed to improving the passenger experience, and the new SkyConnect and Rental Car Center provide a high level of service in new bright and spacious facilities. Now we are improved connectivity with world-class facilities, and passengers can enjoy a short ride on the new SkyConnect system between the Rental Car Center and the main terminal, with a stop at the Economy Parking Garage.”

Al Illustrato, Executive Vice President of Facilities and Administration, Tampa International Airport


Tampa International Airport - Consolidated Rental Car Center and Automated People Mover (TPA)
Tampa International Airport Baggage Claim Renovations (TPA)
Tampa International Airport Main Terminal Modernization (TPA)

Tampa International Airport - Consolidated Rental Car Center and Automated People Mover (TPA)

Project Contact

Our team designs with genuine care for ingenious solutions.

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