89ºF

Greater Orlando Aviation Authority secretary: Start OIA south terminal now

photo

ORLANDO, Fla. – Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Secretary Phil Brown says he will make a full presentation to the board Wednesday that will demonstrate airport traffic is growing rapidly and that design plans for the proposed OIA south terminal should be started now.

If Brown has his way that would push up the original construction date by two years.

"It allows us to start the design effort," Brown says. "If we can't accommodate the traffic it will go somewhere else like Tampa or Atlanta."

Brown says the latest Orlando International Airport traffic data shows strong evidence that there will be demand for additional domestic and international service.

1st quarter growth statistics released by OIA Monday shows international traffic jumped 15 percent from the same period last year while domestic travel increased by 6.7 percent. Combined OIA saw traffic growth of 7.65 percent and that growth is expected to continue.

GOAA Chairman Frank Kruppenbacher was encouraged by the news .

"At current rates, he says, we will not only break our international record for the year but we could also break our total yearly traffic record which was set in 2007," Kruppenbacher said.

The overall traffic record is 36.4 million passengers according to OIA.

Brown says a University of Central Florida economist reviewed the data and is convinced we should see a steady pattern of growth for investment, tourism and air traffic demand.

Last year an estimated 62 million people visited the Orlando area.

The GOAA secretary says he doesn't want to second guess the board but he is "confident" the board will vote to approve going forward with the design process for a new south terminal.

"I'm sure they will have a lot of questions", Brown said

The board meets 2 p.m. Wednesday.