TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday that the state will give Tampa International Airport $194 million to help pay for the largest expansion since the facility's opening in 1971.
Scott was at the airport to make the announcement, along with dozens of local officials, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn.
"I couldn't think of any greater investment in our future," said Buckhorn.
The money will be used for a new rental car center, transit stop and people mover. Officials say the car rentals will be in a new building near the airport's entrance, and a people mover will connect the terminal and the rental center.
There are also plans for outdoor seating, restaurants and larger holding areas.
The state money, combined with nearly $750 million contributed by the airport, airlines and other stakeholders, means that the entire project will come to nearly a billion dollars
The money still must be approved by the state Legislature.
Scott and other area leaders say the expansion is necessary to entice tourists, create jobs and draw businesses to the area.