Greater Orlando Aviation Authority approves funding to address Terminal C issues

GOAA approved nearly $1 million for mobility vehicles and shuttle services

ORLANDO, Fla. – Board members of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) approved several recommendations to address issues like transportation for passengers from Terminal C to Terminal B.

“Whether it be shuttling services from the current Terminal C over to Terminals A and B or providing mobility devices for our passengers who need the assistance,” Kevin Thibault, Chief Executive Officer for GOAA, said.

Since the September opening of Terminal C, GOAA has been faced with finding optimal solutions to address the walk time and distance it takes passengers arriving at Terminal C to get to Terminals A or B. It’s an issue News 6 brought to the forefront and has reported on extensively.

To provide some relief and a better travel experience, the board approved $402,000 for six automated mobility vehicles. Each one would fit up to six people.

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“There’re gates all up and down that concourse. That doesn’t mean it has to get all the way to gate 230, which is the end of the concourse. And so, you got to try to strike a balance of the width of the concourse and how much you can provide between these mobility vehicles as well as the normal pedestrian traffic,” Thibault said. “What we’ve done is to strike that balance of the right number of vehicles to be able to ride that mobility as well as recognizing that some people are going to be pedestrians because their gate is actually a shorter distance.”

GOAA board members also approved more than $486,000 to extend shuttle services for Terminal C rental car customers for two more months.

“Passengers had to — they could get their contract there for the rental car, but they had to go to Terminal B to actually pick up the vehicle, and very quickly and looking at that obstacle or that operation of trying to move around and trying to get to the APM and up here, we realized that we should provide some type of shuttle service,” Tom Draper, chief of operations, said before the board.

As for future plans, Thibault said projects that were eliminated will be restored. One of those is the pedestrian bridge, which will include moving walkways.

The construction of Terminal C had a cost of $2.8 billion, and Thibault said the approved recommendations are within the budget.

“The capital cost stays as they are, right? We have a budget that was approved by this board, and so what we’re focusing more about is about the operating budget, right? What do we need to do as a day-to-day operations,” Thibault said.

Thibault added they’re challenges is the growing number of passengers coming through Orlando International Airport.

“Our rolling 12 month is more than we’ve ever had at over 52 million people. And continues to grow. So the challenges that are in front of us are not just related to Terminal C,” Thibault said.

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About the Author:

Carolina Cardona highlights all Central Florida has to offer in her stories on News 6 at Nine. She joined News 6 in June 2018 from the Telemundo station in Philadelphia.