Hensel Phelps will lead Tampa International Airport (TPA) through the final leg of its master plan, after the airport named the firm as the design partner for its first new terminal building in 17 years. 

The Hillsborough County Aviation Authority (HCAA) named Hensel Phelps as the design partner for the design-build project May 4. Hensel Phelps will work alongside HNTB Corp., Gensler and The Beck Group to deliver the $787-million structure. 

Hensel Phelps is kicking off Phase 3 of TPA’s master plan with the new three-level, 585,000-sq-ft, 16-gate terminal Airside D. Construction is expected to start in 2024 and take three years to complete. According to Hensel Phelps, design is set to begin in August. 

Approved by HCAA in September 2022, the project was delayed two years by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the airport. It will enable TPA to accommodate an additional 13 million passengers by 2037, adding 16 gates to bring the airport’s total to 72. 

The new terminal building, TPA's fifth, will include a concessions space, outdoor terrace, customs and security facilities, and new screening, gate check-in and bag processing technologies, according to TPA. The project is being funded by a mix of federal and state grants and airport-issued bonds.

The project scope, according to HCAA, also includes a shuttle station to connect to the main terminal, automated people mover system and guideway, and new ramp, hydrant fuel system and passenger boarding bridges.

The master plan, established in 2013 and updated in 2022, aims to boost the airport’s capacity to 35 million annual passengers and includes curbside and airside expansions. The airport saw 21.5 million passengers in 2022, a jump of almost 19%, it reports, with revenues reaching more than $326 million for fiscal 22, a $92-million increase from the previous fiscal year. 

Hensel Phelps was one of three firms to respond to an Oct. 12, 2022 request for qualifications, according to HCAA, alongside Austin Commercial and The Weltz Company. HCAA set a DBE goal of at least 16% for the design phase and 13% for the construction phase.

Hensel Phelps has been working with TPA on its master plan since 2018. The plan includes the Tampa International Airport’s Blue Express Curbside project, designed and constructed by HNTB Corp. and Hensel Phelps.

Completed in November 2021, the $326-million Blue Express Curbside Project created a first-of-its-kind facility in the U.S., an arrival point that allows passengers without checked luggage to bypass the ticketing level and arrive directly at the transfer level of the main terminal. 

“Every project we have worked on has supported the current Master Plan,” says Courtney Franklin, proposal lead with Hensel Phelps. 

That work includes other projects for Hensel Phelps like the Checked Baggage Renovation, awarded in 2018, the Main Terminal Curbside Expansion for Blue and Red Side awarded in June 2018 and the SkyCenter Atrium and Pedestrian Bridge awarded in December 2018, she says. 

“Hensel Phelps’ previous work at TPA supports the Airside D project in a key way,” Franklin says, noting the connection between current work the firm is performing on the Main Terminal Curbside Expansion Red Side. It includes the shuttle platform that will connect to Airside D.