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Aviation Expert Sees ‘Lots of Opportunities on the Horizon’

For Tampa International Airport, 2014 proved to be an excellent year.

The airport reported growth in domestic and international passengers, taking its total above 17.3 million travelers for the fiscal year. Revenues also were up year-over-year and airport officials announced an agreement with Lufthansa to begin nonstop flights between Tampa and Frankfurt, Germany.

The airport garnered another accolade when readers of Conde Nast Traveler named Tampa International the nation’s second-best airport.

As good as 2014 turned out to be, it may be surpassed in the coming years. Just weeks before the start of 2015, Tampa International officially broke ground on a nearly $1 billion expansion project that will position the airport for the next two decades of projected growth.

Florida Tech grad John Tiliacos will play a major role in the project. Since 2012, he has served as Tampa International’s vice president of operations and customer service, a role in which he oversees everything from concessions to security.

“No two days are the same in the world of aviation, whether you’re at an airline or at an airport,” said the longtime airline executive, who earned his bachelor’s in Aviation Management from Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida.

“I’ve always been fascinated by flight, by airplanes and airports, and I took an interest early on in my childhood … in aviation,” Tiliacos said. “I went on to study aviation and get my pilot’s license.”

Tiliacos, who spent 22 years with American Airlines, said Tampa International has earned a reputation as a “user-friendly, customer-friendly facility.”

“And that just doesn’t happen by accident. That comes about as a result of a lot of hard work by a great team of employees here at the airport in various departments.”

“I think it’s important as a leader in the organization to surround myself with capable, strong people,” he said.

“And if you put together a good, solid team, you’ll be successful.”

Watch or read our interview with Florida Tech grad John Tiliacos to learn more about his career path and his responsibilities as Vice President of Operations and Customer Service at Tampa International Airport. 

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