Orlando International Airport Continues to Soar to New Heights

Orlando International Airport Continues to Soar to New Heights

Get a look at the many ways Orlando International Airport improved in 2017, and a sneak peek at upgrades coming in 2018 and beyond.

Visited by more than 44 million passengers each year, Orlando International Airport (MCO) is J.D. Power & Associates’ No. 1 mega airport in terms of customer satisfaction — but it’s not ready to rest on its laurels. Following another milestone year for expansion in 2017, the acclaimed airport is ready to grow again in 2018, further positioning it as the premier gateway to Cvent’s No. 1 Top Meeting Destination in the U.S.

Read on to see the new ways that MCO isn’t just getting your attendees to Orlando, but making it the most efficient, pleasurable experience possible in the process.

    New at Orlando International Airport in 2017

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Throughout 2017, MCO welcomed new amenities and upgrades designed to better serve its millions of annual passengers. Part of the airport’s ongoing, $3.5 billion capital improvement plan, these enhancements targeted key areas from ticketing to baggage handling.

For example, August saw the completion of a new Intermodal Terminal Facility (ITF) at the South Airport Complex. Built to alleviate congestion, the $426 million, 1.5 million-square-foot facility now features a six-story parking garage, a new drop-off area with remote check-in, and a state-of-the-art Automated People Mover (APM) system.

With the new APM, two-car trains ferry passengers along a 1.5-mile route to the North Terminal in less than four minutes. What’s more, the ITF has enough space to accommodate Orlando’s SunRail commuter train and the upcoming, high-speed Brightline service connecting Orlando to South Florida. Ground transportation, including taxis, shuttle buses and public buses, are also supported with more than 2,400 new parking spaces.

At MCO’s North Terminal, an in-progress refurbishment of the Ticket Lobby is already paying dividends in the form of 700 55-inch LCD screens providing easy wayfinding and information access. These massive video walls are complemented by 32,000 square feet of additional space and self-service kiosks, as well as seating nooks with charging stations.

Also in progress at the North Terminal, the new Baggage Handling System (BHS) is replacing more than 10 miles of conveyors and carousels, making it one of the airport’s most ambitious improvements yet. This terminal’s international-arrivals facilities have also been expanded.

Coming to Orlando International Airport in 2018

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Expect more improvements at MCO in the years to come, including a wealth in 2018 alone. This year, the focus will be on completing North Terminal projects and breaking ground on several new enhancements.

One of the most anticipated is the upgrade to the Airside 3 APM, following the aforementioned overhaul to the Airside 1 APM last year. The existing APMs — installed in the 1970s — will be replaced with a new Mitsubishi train.

Early in 2018, the gates at Airside 4 will receive 119,000 square feet of renovation. These improvements will increase throughput by 25 percent.

At the South Airport’s new ITF, preparations will continue for the arrival of Brightline, which will provide high-speed rail travel to West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Service is expected to begin in 2020.

Last but not least, site work for the South Terminal is in progress. Once completed in 2020, it will be able to welcome narrow-body, jumbo and super-jumbo aircraft at 16 brand-new gates. The three-floor facility will also connect to the South Airport APM Complex and ITF.

  Arrive in Style at Orlando International Airport

Just 11 miles from the Orange County Convention Center, MCO offers a wide range of flight options from just about everywhere, making travel to and from Orlando nearly as pleasurable as the visit itself. Currently, more than 40 scheduled airlines provide nonstop service to MCO from more than 130 U.S. and international destinations. Furthermore, airfares are among the lowest of the 50 largest airports in the country.

While recent and upcoming improvements at MCO will make it easier than ever for you and your attendees to get here, they can’t help you organize your event — but Visit Orlando can. Submit your RFP to see why Orlando is right for your meeting or convention.

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Cover image courtesy of Orlando International Airport

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