A $1.8 billion expansion of Orlando International Airport is well under way as the Intermodal Terminal Facility (ITF) and an Automated People Mover Complex (APM) are taking shape. The facilities are the first steps toward the development of the South Terminal Facility, which will include a 16-gate airside terminal serving both international and domestic flights.
With the airport welcoming nearly 42 million visitors last year, and its current infrastructure built to accommodate an average capacity of 40 million, the need for expansion is obvious and immediate. Furthermore, this year's crop of new theme park attractions that include Volcano Bay water park at Universal Orlando Resort and Pandora: The World of Avatar at Walt Disney World Resort will make Central Florida's $60 billion tourism industry even more appealing to travelers and bring even more business to the airport.
Orlando Business Journal previously reported on a $3 billion capital improvement plan by the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority which includes improvements to existing OIA facilities as well as the new South Terminal.
The ITF will house about 200,000 square feet of terminal space that will service SunRail and Brightline with room for a possible magnetic levitation system serving the International Drive area. Ground transportation including taxis, shuttle buses and public bus operations will be accommodated at the front of the complex. Located just behind the ITF, the people mover complex will house a station that will receive guests traveling from the North Terminal. Walkways will access a six-level garage that will accommodate 2,400 parking spaces. And Orlando Business Journal got an up-close look during an exclusive site tour on Feb 13.
The nearly 1,000 construction workers at the 1.5 million square-foot site are dwarfed by the massive structure. Sections of framework, assembled on the ground, are lifted by cranes to the top of the railway station to complete a section of overhangs that will be covered in corrugated aluminum. Concrete support pillars, measuring 120 feet high, mark the place where bus passengers will enter the facility.
The APM is slated for completion this year with the ITF to be completed in 2018. The entire South Terminal, airside gates and all, will be ready in 2020.
Source: Orlando Business Journal