TAMPA - Tampa International Airport should go green by emphasizing water conservation, energy efficiency and minimizing its impact on climate change.
That was the message Wednesday from area residents who gave their input for the airport's first master plan addressing natural resource use and social, fiscal and environmental practices.
A recurring theme among three dozen participants in the two-and-a-half our session at Hillsborough Community College was that the airport should take a leadership role in the region by focusing on sustainability issues.
Improving public transit to save energy, cut down pollution and reduce congestion is a key factor in making the best use of natural resources, participants said.
"We need to encourage access to the airport with multiple modes - bus, rail, ferry," said Tampa resident Liz Taylor.
"Enhancing transit - it's huge," said Tampa city council member Mary Mulhern, the only elected official from Hillsborough County in attendance.
The planning session will be followed today with similar meetings among airport tenants and airport staff. Their results in ranking sustainability priorities will be compared with those from Tuesday's session with local residents.
The input will contribute to a sustainability master plan scheduled to be completed next by the airport and Ricondo & Associates Inc.'s Chicago office.