6/20/2012 - Orlando International Airport Moves Closer to Becoming an Intermodal Gateway
ORLANDO, FL - Orlando International Airport (MCO) may soon be connected to Miami by rail. In discussions held at the June meeting of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, the Board was asked to consider a request by Florida East Coast Industries (FECI) to develop the first passenger rail service from MCO to Miami by 2015.
Privately-owned FECI plans to add approximately 40 miles of new track that will link Orlando to the company’s 200 miles of rail infrastructure already in place. The passenger rail service will be called All Aboard Florida.
“We view the potential opportunity as positive news because it follows our master and strategic plans. The addition of rail, which has always been viewed as significant, will make Orlando International Airport truly an intermodal gateway,” says Phil Brown, Executive Director Orlando International Airport.
Demonstrating a vision for the future, the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, which operates Orlando International Airport, has already invested in infrastructure for a station that could accommodate up to four rail systems. In discussing the integration of rail Brown explained, “We have planned our intermodal facility in a central location to service both the north and the future south terminal and All Aboard Florida is vying to be the first rail system to operate from it.”
The station as proposed would incorporate the airport’s design concept of The Orlando Experience™ with the prevailing use of light, water, gardens and open spaces for meetings and retail concessions.
In addition to other proposed community rail systems, including SunRail, the airport’s plans include an automated people mover that would provide passengers direct access from the current North Terminal to future expansion including additional aircraft gates to the South. SunRail will be Central Florida's first commuter rail line connecting four counties and spanning 61.5 miles including a future connection to Orlando International Airport.
According to FECI, All Aboard Florida will create jobs and stimulate local economies. The company estimates the project will create about 6,000 construction jobs and 1,000 permanent jobs for Florida workers.
After considering FECI’s proposal, the Board approved the request and authorized the Executive Director to develop an agreement with FECI to provide commercial passenger rail service to Orlando International Airport’s Intermodal Facility to be presented to the Aviation Authority Board.
In other GOAA Board news:
Orlando International Airport Plugs Into Green Energy Initiatives
Electric vehicles will soon be able to re-charge at Orlando International Airport. At its June meeting, the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) Board approved an agreement with the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) to provide up to nine charging stations for airport parking facilities.
The plug-in charging stations are manufactured by ChargePoint and are tentatively scheduled to be wall mounted on the second level of both the A and B parking garages. Funding for the equipment will be provided by a federal grant and OUC will assume the cost of installation, operation, maintenance and electricity. Users will be charged for use by ChargePoint.
With the growing availability of alternative fuel source vehicles, GOAA is taking the lead on supporting green initiatives and reaffirming a commitment to enhance customer service.
New International Air Service to Land at Orlando International Airport
International air traffic is on pace for another record breaking year at Orlando International after posting an 8.2 percent increase in April. Now the international service offerings continue to increase with the addition of Volaris Airlines and planned service expansion by TAM Airlines to Rio De Janeiro in Brazil. Volaris starts two day-a-week Mexico City to Orlando service on July 14, 2012. With the addition of Orlando, Volaris will serve eight U.S. cities with one of the most modern fleet of A320’s in the air. Orlando becomes the first Florida city to have scheduled Volaris service.
TAM Airlines plans to expand its reach from Orlando. Starting October 29, 2012, TAM begins daily service to the second largest city in Brazil, Rio De Janeiro. The upcoming service, pending government approval, will provide direct non-stop service using 223-seat A330-200 aircraft for Central Floridians, just as Rio begins preparations for the upcoming 2016 summer Olympic games.
For more information, contact Carolyn Fennell or Rod Johnson in the Office of Public Affairs at the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority at 407-825-2055.
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