Press Information

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America's "Crystal Mover" APM System Begins Operations at Tampa International Airport


TAMPA, FLORIDA, February 8, 2018 - On Wednesday, February 7, Florida Governor Rick Scott celebrated the opening of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America's (MHIA's) Crystal Mover Automated People Mover (APM) system, SkyConnect, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Tampa International Airport (TPA). SkyConnect is 1.4 miles long and connects TPA's Main Terminal to the Economy Garage and a brand-new Rental Car Center in approximately 5 minutes. SkyConnect can transport up to 2,850 people per hour in each direction, allowing the airport to respond to record passenger growth. Joe Lopano, CEO of Tampa International Airport, stated at the opening "This is an exciting day for Tampa International Airport and the Tampa Bay community. The new SkyConnect people-mover system, which connects the Main Terminal to our state-of-the-art Rental Car Center, will help the Airport grow for years to come, while continuing to offer exceptional customer service. We have a great partnership with MHIA and we are pleased with the safe and successful delivery of our SkyConnect system".

MHIA received the APM order from the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority (HCAA) in November 2014, and completed the project ahead of its contractual schedule and within budget. MHIA was responsible for the integration of the entire APM system, including installation work. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering, Ltd. (MHIENG) provided the core design and supplied 12 APM cars, a maintenance vehicle and signaling system. SkyConnect is the eighth APM system delivered by MHIA in the US market, following previous successful APM projects at major airports in Orlando, Miami, Washington and Atlanta. "With the dedication of our team and the close partnership with the Airport, we opened this system ahead of our contractual schedule, and with record breaking performance," said Darin Friedmann, Vice President and General Manager of MHIA's Transportation Systems Division "We are proud to help transport passengers at Tampa International Airport, the birthplace of the Automated People Mover industry, and help bring TPA into the future."

MHIA was also awarded a five-year contract, with two additional five-year options, to perform Operation and Maintenance (O&M) work for SkyConnect. The O&M work will be conducted in conjunction with Crystal Mover Services, Inc. established in 2009 as a subsidiary of MHIA and Sumitomo Corporation that provides Operations and Maintenance services for all APM systems delivered by MHIA in the US.

MHIENG is the world's largest manufacturer of APM vehicles, and is behind the APM systems currently in operation at several of the world's largest and most advanced airports, including Changi International Airport (Singapore), Incheon International Airport (South Korea), Hong Kong International Airport and Dubai International Airport. MHIENG's APM technology is also used for numerous urban transport projects around the world.

In addition to exploring new APM markets, MHIA is also focusing on expansion, upgrades, and replacements of existing lines across North America. The MHI Group will continue to build on its remarkable success as a leading force in the global APM market, supplying reliable, safe, and innovative transportation systems that meet market demand and contribute to a more sustainable future.

Third Factory
Tampa International Airport Crystal Mover APM

Ribbon-cutting ceremony

About MHI Group

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group is one of the world’s leading industrial groups, spanning energy, smart infrastructure, industrial machinery, aerospace and defense. MHI Group combines cutting-edge technology with deep experience to deliver innovative, integrated solutions that help to realize a carbon neutral world, improve the quality of life and ensure a safer world. For more information, please visit or follow our insights and stories on