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Airport Experience News is excited to announce that Joe Lopano, Executive Director of Aviation at Tampa International Airport (TPA), has been named the 2018 Director of the Year in the Large Airports category.

“Joe Lopano has done an incredible job in elevating the traveler experience at Tampa International,” says Ramon Lo, publisher of Airport Experience News. “And because of that, we are excited to honor him and his work in our November issue.”

Lopano joined the TPA team as chief executive officer in January of 2011. His experience within the airport industry spans decades and includes 14 years spent at Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport (DFW) as executive vice president of marketing and terminal management.

At TPA, Lopano is currently overseeing a multi-year redevelopment and expansion to better accommodate the rising numbers of passengers utilizing the facility. The first of that three-phase effort – which includes a new rental car center, an automated people mover and an expansion of the Main Terminal – is wrapping up this year.

In addition, TPA recently completed a major concessions redevelopment effort that expanded the offering with more local brands and more spaces operated by minority owned businesses. It also consolidated more of the concessions post-security in line with passenger demand.

Passenger traffic is on the rise at TPA. For the eight months through August 2018, the airport registered an 8.29 percent gain to 14.5 million passengers. For calendar year 2017, the airport served 19.62 million passengers, a gain of 3.66 percent. Since Lopano arrived at TPA in 2011, the airport has also seen a more than 120 percent growth in international passengers.

“Tampa International Airport was already the jewel of the Tampa Bay region when I arrived and over the past seven years, we’ve positioned the airport for an even brighter future,” Lopano says. “I could not have accomplished any of it without our forward-thinking board members, an incredibly talented and hard-working staff and a very supportive community.”

Lopano will be interviewed in and featured on the cover of AXN’s November issue. His award will be presented at the Airport Experience Awards on the final night of the 2019 Airport Experience Conference in Las Vegas.