Orlando Airport to begin construction of new $1.8bn terminal

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

The Orlando International Airport will soon commence the construction of a southern terminal at a cost of $1.8bn after securing approval from the airport board.

The Orlando International Airport will soon commence the construction of a southern terminal at a cost of $1.8bn after securing approval from the airport board.

Planned to be constructed around a mile south of the existing one, the new terminal will serve both domestic and foreign visitors.

The airport plans to move forward with the expansion despite objections from the Southwest Airlines and Delta Airlines that have argued that the second terminal is unnecessary and expensive.

"If we can't accommodate the traffic it will go somewhere else like Tampa or Atlanta."

However, airport authorities have contend that the airport is growing at an accelerated speed and hence expansion is needed to accommodate the growing passenger numbers, reported the Orlando Sentinel.

Currently, the airport is handling more than 36.4 million passengers annually that could reach 38.5 million passengers in 2016.

The airport's international and domestic traffic increased by 15% and 6.7%, respectively, in the first quarter.
Meanwhile, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority secretary and airport director Phil Brown said he will demonstrate the upward trend in airport traffic to the board to ensure an immediate initiation of the design plans for the terminal, reported WKMG-Orlando.

"If we can't accommodate the traffic it will go somewhere else like Tampa or Atlanta."

Earlier this year, the airport had launched a $1.3bn expansion project that focused on increasing baggage handling capacity, screening and additional ticketing areas and the improvement of the US Customs and Border Protection area at Airside 4.

The area handles most of the international passengers and houses airlines such as Delta, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.

The airport is expected to complete the $1.3bn project by 2018.