Orlando International Airport’s new Terminal C has everything... except moving walkways

Airport leaders consider adding moving walkways to shorten lengthy commutes

ORLANDO, Fla. – Many Terminal C passengers agree that the state-of-the-art $2.8 billion complex is stunning, but they hate the long walk from end to end.

Jetblue travelers describe the walk to the furthest gate as 15 minutes or longer, as much as half a mile.

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One family visiting Orlando from New York for a field hockey tournament said the walk from their Jetblue gate was “never-ending” and “baffling.”

“When we actually landed and got off, someone asked if we were actually walking to Sanford where the field hockey tournament was,” the family joked. “It was that far of a walk from getting off at the gate from getting to baggage claim.”

The dazzling, cavernous Terminal C opened in September with sunlight flooding the open spaces thanks to glass everywhere. A three-story-high video wall shows scenes from across Florida.

But what the new terminal doesn’t have is moving walkways.

How long the walk feels depends on how much luggage you’re pulling or the stroller you’re pushing, passengers said. But it wasn’t supposed to be this way.

When Terminal C was under construction, the plan was originally to include moving walkways to shorten the walk.

But the airport’s CEO Kevin Thibault said the walkways were deleted when the hallways were narrowed.

“From the inception of the project, in keeping with the strategic plan, and in a value-engineering focus, GOAA made cognizant efforts to stay within budget,” Thibault said. “In the architecture of record’s report in 2017, the walkways were reduced by 10 feet. As a result, the moving sidewalks were removed because conventional standards dictated they would not fit.”

Thibault said the airport is currently looking into installing moving sidewalks.

“What we are now doing is challenging those conventions and seeing how we could do a retrofit,” Thibault said.

If a retrofit is possible, the airport has not said how it could be done.

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About the Author:

Erik von Ancken anchors and reports for WKMG-TV News 6 (CBS) in Orlando and is a two-time Emmy award-winning journalist in the prestigious and coveted "On-Camera Talent" categories for both anchoring and reporting. Erik joined the News 6 News Team in 2003 days after the tragic loss of space shuttle Columbia.