OIA leaders move ahead with $1.1 billion expansion

ORLANDO, Fla. - Leaders at Orlando International Airport are moving ahead with a $1.1 billion expansion and renovation project that could last several years.

Some of the project's organizers presented a preliminary look at renderings during Monday morning's Orlando City Commissioners meeting.

One of the areas scheduled to be renovated includes curbside baggage check and the interior ticketing areas.

Carrying a price tag of $113 million, the plans call for making curbside baggage checks more efficient, while the interior ticketing areas would see a major aesthetic remodel.

Self-service check-in stations would also be expanded, according to the presentation.

The interior of the A and B terminals at Orlando International Airport haven't been updated in about 25-to-30 years, according to the project's details.

The renovation project would take about five years to complete.

Project leaders also talked about the construction of the "intermodel station" south of the airport complex, which would house additional parking, ground transportation and possibly rental car operations.

The station would be accessible with the addition of another "people mover" train at a cost of $90 million.

The site would also eventually house new airline terminals C and D.

The terminals would start with only 16 gates and would be able to expand to as many as 120 gates over time.

Project leaders say the expansion and renovation is highly overdue and must be done to accommodate increased passenger loads for the theme parks and sporting events.

The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority will take up the project plans at their meeting on Sept. 10, and airport officials will return to the Orlando City Commissioners chambers for another discussion on Sept. 29.

After the commission gives its approval to the expansion and renovations, the airport authority will meet with the Federal Aviation Administration in October.

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