Home Airports Photos, Video: Opening Date Of Orlando Airport’s New Terminal Announced

Photos, Video: Opening Date Of Orlando Airport’s New Terminal Announced

by SharonKurheg

In 2017 (has it really been FIVE YEARS already?), Orlando International Airport (MCO) began construction on a $2.75 billion expansion project. When completed, Terminal C of what is now Florida’s busiest airport (and the 7th busiest airport in the world) will encompass 300 acres, add 15 gates to accommodate up to 20 aircraft and serve 10-12 million additional passengers each year. This new terminal (part of the “South Terminal Complex”) will also include a station for the Brightline train which will link MCO to Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Miami, as well as, eventually, Walt Disney World and Tampa to the west and Aventura, Boca Raton and PortMiami to the southeast.

According to a 2017 press release, arrivals and baggage claim will be located on the third level, “so passengers will experience the beauty of Central Florida immediately after deplaning.” Departures, ticketing and security will be located on the second level and ground transportation on the first level. A state-of-the-art baggage handling system will make use of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to offer 100% baggage tracking. Modularity will allow for future expansion and the life-cycle cost will be lower.

In 2017, it was said that the South Terminal Complex would open in 2020. Of course, that didn’t happen ;-). July of 2022 was floated as the opening date for a while, but as per a recent press release, the real, official opening date is now set for a two-week period in September 2022.

International operations at Terminal C will begin on September 19, 2022, and domestic operations will start on September 26th.

“Although we could open before Labor Day, it is best that we transition airline operations and our customers at a period with less passenger travel than our normal peak summer season,” MCO’s CEO, Kevin Thibault said.

Although track construction has remained ongoing, the area where the Brightline train will eventually stop (it’s said it will begin carrying passengers in early 2023) has been open to the public for over 2 years, since the adjacent parking garage (Garage C) was finished early to accommodate overflow from parking garages A & B, with a “people mover” to shuttle passengers between the South Terminal Complex and the other 2 terminals.

The people mover going from the South Terminal Complex towards Terminals A & B

Here’s what things were like when we visited the “train side” of the new terminal in the summer of 2019. You can also see what the actual terminal looked like, constructionwise, back then.

Just about a year ago, in May 2021, the terminal was about 70% complete – this is how it all looked back then. The terminal is now said to be about 90% finished. The public still isn’t allowed to enter, but you can still see how things are progressing, if you look from the “train side” of the terminal. We were at MCO the other day, so we made sure to stop by and check how things were doing.

View of Terminal C from the Train/People Mover building. We suspect the vertical poles will be the base of a walkway between the 2 buildings. The South Terminal Complex’s parking structure, which is also connected to the 2 buildings, is to the right

Elevators from the parking structure to Terminal C. Signs on the elevator doors say something to the effect of “Out Of Order” (they’re not in use yet)

Escalators and stairs connecting parking structure and multiple levels of Terminal C (these are gated off)

Completed part of walkway to Terminal C, over roads that enter/exit MCO

North end of Terminal C, with Arrivals/Departure ramps in the foreground and airline gates in the background

More escalators to Terminal C, behind construction gates

Further out view of (L to R) exit ramps from Arrivals/Departure roads, Terminal C, base for walkway, and parking structure

I also got one really crappy photo of the actual Brightline station. I hope they clean the windows before train service begins 😉

Select local print and broadcast outlets were invited to a “sneak peek” of the terminal last week. Here’s some of the video footage as posted by one local reporter:

MCO’s Twitter presence occasionally gives updates of Terminal C’s construction (like this one, from last Friday). Well, when they’re not giving updates such as this. Because Florida. 😉

JetBlue, Southwest, Frontier and Avianca will be among the first airlines to make their respective presence in Terminal C. Just a few months to go!

Feature Photo: YMMV/SIKH (that’s me!)

Want to comment on this post? Great! Read this first to help ensure it gets approved.
Want to sponsor a post, write something for Your Mileage May Vary or put ads on our site? Click here for more info.

Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love it if you decided to hang around and sign up to get emailed notifications of when we post.

Whether you’ve read our articles before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!

This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

Leave a Comment