Tampa International Airport (TPA)
History, Facts and Overview
(Tampa, Florida - FL, USA)
Tampa Bay has been credited with being the city were commercial airlines were born. In 1914, seaplanes flew between Tampa and nearby St. Petersburg, and although this service only latest a few months, it was extremely popular. In the late 1920s, a site on the western side of Tampa, known as Drew Field, was selected to become the city's airport and was used extensively during the 1940s as a military training airbase.
In 1950, the status of Drew Field Municipal Airport was upgraded, when it was renamed and relaunched as the Tampa International Airport (TPA). At this time, Trans Canada Airlines began operating commercial flights at the airport and a secondary terminal building was soon competed. By the 1960s, jet-driver charter planes were beginning to use Tampa Airport and a new terminal was soon developed to cope with increased demand, opening in 1971. Soon after, the ATC Control Tower was erected, instantly becoming the tallest of its kind in the whole of the USA, measuring around 70 metres / 230 feet.
Today, passenger facilities and services at Tampa International Airport are superb, with cash machines located on each level, along with a bank and a bureau de change on Level 3. You will also find post boxes, stamp machines, first-aid, a chapel and baby changing facilities. The nearby Airport Marriott Hotel offers a range of business facilities if these are required, although there are telephones with dataports inside the terminal.
For shopping and eating, duty-free outlets, cafés and restaurants can be found throughout Tampa Airport. These include the 24-hour Taco Bell Express, the Freshens Smoothie Company and Da Vinci's Café. For unrivalled 360-degree views across Tampa Airport itself, consider dining out at CK's Revolving Rooftop Restaurant and Sushi Bar, where you can watch the planes taking off. Duty-free shops tend to open two hours prior to international flights, while most other shops and eateries operate between 05:00 and 21:00.