Tampa International Airport Rental Car Center (RCC) and SkyConnect Automated People Mover (APM)
Award of Merit

Owner: Tampa International Airport
Lead Design Firm: Gresham Smith
General Contractor: Austin Commercial, an Austin Industries Co.
Civil Engineer: Kisinger Campo & Associates Corp.
Structural Engineer: Walter P Moore & Associates
Structural Engineer: Masters Consulting Engineers Inc.
MEP Engineer: VoltAir Consulting Engineers
MEP Engineer: TLC Engineering of Architecture

This $500-million design-build project at Tampa International Airport delivered a 2.6-million-sq-ft rental car center (RCC) with more than 3,600 ready car return spaces as well as a multilevel quick turnaround area that included 144 fueling dispensers. Also, a 1.5-mile-long automated people mover system links the RCC with TIA’s main terminal and economy parking garage.

To meet the three-year schedule, the Austin Commercial-led team emphasized constructibility reviews—at 15%, 30%, 60% and 90% design completion—covering site logistics, construction materials, means and methods and life-cycle analyses. The contractor’s biggest challenge was minimizing disruption to airport users from multiple traffic disruptions during a more than a two-year period. In particular, Tampa International’s restricted site challenged contractors as they coordinated work around the public while building the APM’s elevated guideway and stations. To keep the airport’s traffic patterns flowing efficiently, the project team met daily with airport operations to plan diversions and road closures in and around the main terminal building.