Orlando airport commences $1.1bn expansion project

18 March 2015 (Last Updated March 18th, 2015 18:30)

The Orlando International Airport has started work on its $1.1bn expansion project that will help in creating new facilities and upgrading the existing ones.

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The Orlando International Airport has started work on its $1.1bn expansion project that will help in creating new facilities and upgrading the existing ones at the airport.

Originally established as a US Army Air Forces facility and military operations in 1942, the airport has seen three major upgrades till date.

The airport recorded an increase of 9% in its January passenger numbers.

"This expansion lays the footprint and the next steps and ensures that we become the city of the future for the south."

Close to 15 projects will be included in the development project which includes increasing baggage handling capacity, screening and additional ticketing areas. The project will also add more shuttles and build a new complex to connect visitors to area trains.

Wesh.com quoted Greater Orlando Aviation Authority COO Stan Thornton as saying: "All of these projects are to increase efficiencies, to replace aging equipment and redo facilities that are passed their time. This expansion lays the footprint and the next steps and ensures that we become the city of the future for the south."

While the airport board has been planning the expansion of the airport for years, many airlines officials have opposed it saying that it is too expensive and unnecessary.

Speaking about the expansion project, Thornton said to Bay News 9: "At the point when we get past 40 million annual passengers as a total, we're going to need more facilities to handle that. And it's not just gates and airline gates, it's baggage, it's roadways, it's parking facilities. All those amenities that make the entire operation."

The airport expects to complete majority of the expansion work by 2018.


Image: The proposed design for Intermodal Transportation Facility at the Orlando international airport. Photo: courtesy of Greater Orlando Aviation Authority.