Orlando airport on its way to $1.1 billion expansion
Written by Robert Niles
This isn't about a theme park, but it affects a facility that hosts millions of theme park fans every year: Orlando International Airport is on its way to a billion-dollar-plus upgrade.Tweet
The Orlando airport commission last week approved plans for a $1.1 billion expansion and renovation plan for the facility, which serves more than 35 million passengers a year. The commission's concerned that the current facility can't effectively handle more than 45 million passengers a year, which it projects the airport to hit by 2019. So it's devised a plan to add a second terminal facility one mile south of the existing terminal, while upgrading the existing terminal facility and its gates for international flights.
The proposed south terminal for Orlando International Airport
The commission's airport expansion master plan [PDF] detailed the rationale behind and the six phases of the expansion plan, which will start by adding a new, 2,400-space parking garage, remote check-in location and people mover station that will form the core of a new southern terminal facility. The southern terminal will connect to the northern terminal by a three-minute people mover ride, and ultimately might house up to 120 domestic and international airplane gates, two 500-room hotels, 20,000 parking spaces across multiple garages, and terminals for state-wide and local commuter rail systems. (For reference, the current north terminal complex includes 106 gates.)
Here's a concept video:
The $1.1 billion pays for the first phases of the expansion. A full build-out would cost at least $1 billion more. While the airport commission will start right away with renovations and expansion of the existing, northside terminal, focusing on the international gates, the southern terminal project won't start until the airport hits 40 million passengers a year.
Theme park fans, what do you think of Orlando's airport? What would you like to see it fix, add, or improve to better serve the area's tourists and theme park fans?
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