Major improvements coming to Orlando International Airport

$1.1 billion expansion approved; Greater Orlando Aviation Authority board approves projects

Published On: Dec 24 2013 11:35:47 AM EST   Updated On: Oct 16 2013 08:00:21 PM EDT
Orlando International Airport expansion
ORLANDO, Fla. -

Orlando International Airport is about to receive $1.1 billion in capital improvements, including major renovations to the terminal and a new intermodal facility featuring a passenger train station.

The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority board approved the projects on Wednesday, which will be funded through the current $4.50 passenger facility charge, customer facility charges and bonds.

About half of the money will be spent on improvements in the main terminal, including ticket lobby renovations, the installation of a high-tech baggage screening system and the construction of four additional international gates.

Two of the aging people mover trams also need to be replaced, according to airport officials.

"As a major economic engine for the region, Orlando International Airport is poised to meet the growth demands of our global community," said Frank Kruppenbacher, Chairman of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. "Over $5 billion has been earmarked for investment into local industries, which creates job, and we must anticipate the demand these investments will create."

As part of the project, OIA officials will soon begin construction on the South Airport Automated People Mover complex, located about a mile south of the existing terminal and connected with a new people mover tram.

The first phase will include a 2,400 spot parking garage, additional passenger check-in facilities, space for ground transportation and a station for the proposed All Aboard commuter train linking Orlando to Miami.

Board members said that new facility is needed to relieve congestion in OIA's terminal, which was built in the early 1980s to handle 24 million passengers a year.

Currently, about 35 million passengers fly in and out of the airport.

The new facility will also be a foothold for the OIA's proposed South Terminal. The board voted Wednesday that final design of the new terminal can begin once OIA's traffic exceeds 40 million passengers and 2 million arriving international passengers a year, a benchmark the board predicts will be reached in the next four or five years.

Major elements of the $1.1 billion project include: