Passengers flying from/to Orlando International Airport (MCO) may enjoy the seamless airport experience as its new terminal C has officially opened its doors to the public. On September 20, the US $2.8 billion project was inaugurated with the touchdown of an Aer Lingus flight from England in MCO’s terminal C. The new swanky terminal is formally open to international operations after almost five years of construction.
A new beginning
Orlando International Airport- the ninth-busiest US airport in 2019, is the primary gateway to the mid-Florida region, one of the most visited US destinations. Notorious for long queues and hectic check-in/security experience, MCO has started a new chapter with the inauguration of new and swanky Terminal C, which is set to offer expedited quality services and allow more people to travel through the popular airport.
The first flight to arrive at MCO’s Terminal C was Ireland’s Aer Lingus which flew all the way from Machester, England, and landed at the 15-gate building at 3:30 pm on Tuesday. Likewise, Brazil’s GOL Linhas Aereas Flight 7602 operated a Boeing 737 Max from Brasilia to Terminal C, marking the second flight to the newly inaugurated facility. Other foreign carriers will soon join the $2.5 billion terminal before the end of this week. The New York-based JetBlue, which is also the terminal’s anchor airline, and Caribbean Airlines will move here next week.
The state-of-the-art terminal C will host the flight operations of 10 foreign airlines viz. Aer Lingus, Caribbean, Emirates Airlines, GOL Linhas Aereas, Azul Brazilian Airlines, Icelandair, Lufthansa, Norse, and British Airways. These airlines (except for Caribbean Airlines) will relocate their services from terminals A and B to this modern complex within this week. JetBlue and Caribbean Airlines will mark their presence at the recent building on September 27 and September 30, respectively. While the international flights have already resumed, domestic flights in this facility will kickstart on September 26.
Changes brought by the new terminal.
Terminal C of Orlando International Airport underwent construction phase-wise nearly five years ago. Designed by Fentress Architects, phase 1 of this massive project initially comprised 15 gates. The later design included further expansion with the addition of 4 passenger gates. The construction was halted following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and resumed after the rebound in MCO’s air traffic.
The modern Terminal C is spread over 300 acres, measuring 1.8 million square feet in size. Representing a major expansion for Orlando Airport, the brand-new facility now has an additional 15 gates to augment the airport capacity by 25 percent, or 10-12 million new passengers a year. With this, around 60 million passengers are anticipated to pass through Orlando International Airport annually.
Along with enhanced passenger capacity, it will also be able to accommodate up to 20 jets, including wide bodies and narrowbodies. The new facility provides visitors with the aesthetic of air, water, and sky throughout their airport journey and offers world-class amenities, including state-of-the-art RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) baggage tags, robotic early bag storage, automated TSA screening lanes, 33 retail and food & beverage locations, and 1000+ video screens with directional and flight information.
- Cutting-edge technologies
The brand-new Terminal C of Orlando Airport has made safety and security enhancements with the incorporation of cutting-edge technologies such as 100% automated TSA checkpoints, biometric boarding for all international flights, RFID Tote baggage system, new Visual Surveillance System (VSS), a Virtual Ramp Control (VRC), and a Ramp Information Display System (RIDS), etc.
The 100% automatic screening lanes at TSA checkpoints will streamline the screening process and keep lines and crowds to a minimum. The RFID baggage system will automatically store and deliver luggage based on each passenger’s schedule and minimize cases of lost and missing bags.
- Terminal layout
The $2.8 billion complex will enrich passenger experience at every step of their journey, from check-in to boarding, with modern ticketing and security areas, plenty of video displays, wayfinding signs, an app with directions and highlights, top-floor baggage arrivals, large-scale public art installations, plenty of shopping and dining options with natural light throughout the terminal, etc.
Customers can benefit from experiencing a wide array of local and international brands from Walt Disney World, Universal, and SeaWorld to Wine Bar and Orange Country Brewers. Keeping up with Orlando’s reputation as an entertainment hub, the new complex equips immersive multimedia features to provide HD visual entertainment to on-the-go passengers.
Other facelifts include a nursing station, a dog relief area, a new private rail service, etc.