NEWS Last modified on March 23, 2015

Work begins on Orlando's $1.1 billion development programme

Orlando International Airport has started work on the $1.1 billion expansion programme that it hopes will transform it into one of the US's most efficient and user-friendly gateways.

According to the airport, the sound of bulldozers and pile drivers pounding away are a new sound at the US airport this week as the largest in expansion and renovation project in its history gets underway.

It says that the simultaneous construction on the South Airport APM Complex and Intermodal Transportation Facility (ITF), along with enhancements at the North Terminal Facility, will not only change the face of Orlando International Airport but will impact on Central Florida’s economic landscape as well.

Orlando International Airport (MCO) already contributes an estimated $31 billion annually to the region’s economy.

“By approving the funding for these ambitious and essential projects, the Board has provided the resources necessary to keep moving forward,” says Greater Orlando Aviation Authority chairman Frank Kruppenbacher.

“Our goal is to remain at the forefront of innovation and customer service by building to meet future demand.”

In its continuing effort to prepare for a projected increase in passenger traffic and evolving aviation trends, MCO has initiated several projects to expand capacity, expedite international processing and improve the overall travel experience.

Improvements to the North Terminal Complex include expansion of the ticket lobbies in Terminals A & B to incorporate new technology and provide greater capacity; baggage system improvements for increased efficiency and security; renovation of kerbside canopies; construction of a new central energy plant; and construction of a new north cell phone lot with restrooms.

Elsewhere, Airside 4 improvements include expanding Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities; adding international gates to accommodate larger aircraft; and renovating restroom facilities.

A new Automated People Mover (APM) train will replace the existing one used for Airsides 1 and 3.

While the new South Airport APM Complex & ITF will increase multi-modal transportation access, which can accommodate up to four rail systems, and provide greater connectivity to the region and the state.

The economic impact will be felt in the creation of jobs and the inclusion of local and minority-owned businesses in the process.

“To ensure participation from minority and small business firms, the airport authority has conducted extensive community outreach sessions,” says Phil Brown, executive director of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority.

“As a result of those efforts, 296 firms have been pre-qualified to participate in these and future Authority projects.”

There are currently 450 total firms actually working on various construction projects for the airport.

Construction is projected to be completed by the Summer of 2017.


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