Orlando Airport is to undergo $1.8 billion expansion project

By Catherine Sturman
The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Board has received an update on the progress of the new South Terminal Complex. Curtis Fentress, President and CE...

The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Board has received an update on the progress of the new South Terminal Complex. Curtis Fentress, President and CEO of Fentress Architects, in collaboration with General Consultant Schenkel Shultz and Architect of Record HNTB, has presented the board with his proposed vision and 30 percent design for the $1.8 billion Terminal C, Phase 1 project.

Fentress presented the Board with conceptual drawings for several aspects of the South Terminal’s features, including the Town Square and Palm Court interior concepts. The designs incorporate beauty, efficiency, convenience and innovative concepts such as creating an arrivals experience on the terminal’s upper level.

“We want to go beyond The Orlando Experience to the future,” said Fentress. “Using our touchstones of design, we want to create a timeless design for the passenger experience now and for generations to come.”

Key design elements support the central theme of “The Boulevard”, which connects civic areas and provides a unique customer experience.

The Boulevard reinforces the campus vision through purposeful landscape and unifying elements such as imaginative multi-media areas and dynamic concessions.

Fentress is recognized as an industry leader in aviation architecture with a design portfolio that includes Denver International Airport, Los Angeles International, Seattle-Tacoma and Incheon, South Korea.

During the presentation, board members provided input for the continuing evolution of the design. The board then voted to approve the vision and design as presented along with authorizing the start of construction.

Construction could begin as early as the first quarter of 2017 with completion by the summer of 2020.

“Our community is building and growing so we need to enhance our ability to handle the expected increase in visitors,” said Frank Kruppenbacher, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Chairman. “As the premier global gateway into Central Florida, meeting the rising demand and maintaining the highest travel standards is our responsibility.”

“Today’s travellers to Central Florida demand a memorable experience, so it is essential that we strive to stay at the forefront of design, innovation, customer care and improved connectivity,” says Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Executive Director Phil Brown. “Our challenge is to provide state-of-the-art services and facilities at an affordable cost.”

As passenger traffic at Orlando International continues to increase at record pace, the need for expanding capacity becomes more urgent.

With current construction projects already underway, the North Terminal Complex will reach its maximum capacity of 45 million annual passengers.

For the 12-month period ending in September, MCO had handled 41.5 million passengers. Phase One of the STC will add 16 gates to increase Orlando International’s capacity to 55 million annual passengers by accommodating more domestic and international flights.

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