Orlando International Airport Sets Stage for Terminal C’s Phase Two Expansion

Photo by Jeff Leimbach, courtesy of Orlando International Airport.

In a recent move signifying growth, the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority greenlit a contract on October 18th, laying the groundwork for the next expansion phase of the newly inaugurated Terminal C at Orlando International Airport. As per the Orlando Business Journal, the authority responsible for managing both Orlando International Airport and Orlando Executive Airport endorsed a $1.09 million contract with Ricondo & Associates. This Chicago-based aviation consultancy, with a branch in Orlando, will commence outlining the development trajectory for the terminal’s forthcoming phase. Envisioned plans suggest the potential to more than double the existing gates of the south terminal. Currently, the terminal boasts 15 gates, with an additional four in the pipeline and various facilities.

A driving factor for initiating this new phase is the remarkable growth in passenger numbers, as highlighted by airport executives during the meeting. The airport’s official statement elaborated that the Phase 2 Program aims to extend Terminal C, incorporating 16 to 24 aircraft gates. Ricondo’s task is to craft a Program Definition Document that outlines the program’s prerequisites, presents a favored operational concept and facility blueprint, and refines cost projections while offering strategic counsel to consultants in charge of the program’s detailed design. This PDD and its financial estimates will be pivotal in suggesting budget allocations for necessary capital expenditures, assisting the aviation authority in its decision-making journey.

Although the meeting was scant on further details, it unmistakably signals the commencement of a surge of business prospects once the project gains momentum. The airport’s CEO, Kevin Thibault had previously hinted to Orlando Business Journal that any such expansion might still be years away. Both Thibault and Ricondo representatives remained unreachable for comments post-meeting. Yet, the recent approval underlines the airport’s proactive approach, preparing for eventual expansion. Constructed with an investment of $2.8 billion, the terminal, operational since September 2022, enhances the airport’s bandwidth to accommodate up to 60 million passengers annually. The airport is already witnessing a robust business phase, with predictions pointing to almost 58 million passengers by the close of the year—a groundbreaking figure. This early development strategy underscores the airport’s intent to remain ahead in its growth trajectory.

The October 18th assembly also gave the nod to a hefty contract awarded to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, Inc. This encompasses the design, build, operations, and upkeep of the Automated People Mover systems connecting the airport’s Airsides 2 and 4 sections. The project entails a comprehensive overhaul of vehicles, running surfaces, and centralized control systems, with a projected completion date of 2027. Rehabilitation initiatives for assorted taxiways at the airport, aggregating over $37 million, are also on the cards. Hubbard Construction Company is slated to start its project in November 2023, wrapping up by August 2024. Concurrently, Middlesex Corporation will begin its work in November 2023 and conclude in April 2024.

On a related note, the airport recently unveiled a fresh strategic roadmap, delineating its growth aspirations for the upcoming decade. This visionary blueprint aims to optimize the airport’s resources for future endeavors, influencing its overarching master plans, workforce enhancement strategies, and capital augmentation programs. Notably, Terminal C’s growth visions encompass a total of 120 gates. Reiterating the importance of infrastructural investments, The Airports Council International’s 2023 U.S. Infrastructure Needs Report emphasized the imperative of airports to bolster employment, invigorate the economy, promote environmental objectives, and elevate the passenger experience. The report concluded that with their hands-on expertise, local airports should be endowed with greater financial flexibility, ensuring efficient allocations for both present and anticipated projects.

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1 Comment on "Orlando International Airport Sets Stage for Terminal C’s Phase Two Expansion"

  1. what is that thing flying off the building?!

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