ORLANDO, FL. – With domestic air travel on the rise, the April meeting of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) Board featured a full agenda of items that reflected the level of activity at Orlando International Airport (MCO), from present status to issues moving forward.
Chairman’s State of the Airport Report
Board Chairman Carson Good presented a State of the Airport report, which provided a comprehensive detailing of MCO’s transition from pandemic conditions to current operating levels. Key points along the more than a year-long timeline included:
- Impact of COVID-19 on air travel
- Budget & Capital Improvement Plan reductions
- Resumption of airline service and new air service development
- MCO Today
- 93 of 110 concessions open (85%)
- Most parking options are open
- 90 U.S. Destinations (-2%)
- 20 International Destinations (-63%)
- 26 Airlines (-21%)
- Diversifying revenue sources to mitigate potential future impacts
- Goals moving forward
“This has been an amazing year, how this incredible team dealt with this crisis and how we’re coming out of it,” said Chairman Good. “I’m very optimistic and amazed at how we’ve come through this as a community and as an airport. It’s been a lot of great leadership from everybody that works here and our two mayors.”
Brightline Property Agreement
The Board approved an agreement with Brightline Trains Florida for the acquisition of additional airport property. The amended Rail Line Easement Agreement will allow for rail access to airport property from the south. Previous agreements provided for access from the north to facilitate Brightline’s intercity service between Orlando and Miami. This new alignment will provide Brightline access to the Intermodal Terminal Facility from stations between Tampa and the airport, including Walt Disney World.
Negotiated terms include the Aviation Authority being compensated for the fair market value of the property being used for the access and an increase in the rail support fee that is paid for each boarding passenger. The support fee addresses the potential adverse impacts on the Authority’s ground transportation revenue and will move from $1.50 to $1.75 per passenger once south access is utilized.
South Terminal Update
Construction of the new South Terminal C is approaching the 75 percent completion threshold and GOAA Senior Director of Engineering & Construction Davin Ruohomaki presented a progress report to the Board. Details included a review of the updated scope and budget, financial overview, management control structure, and a target for completion.
The presentation was highlighted with:
- Drone video showing aerial views of the interior and exterior
- Concessions fitout update
- Review of the South Terminal’s special systems
- Safety record of more than 10 million man-hours with no major injuries or fatalities
- Interesting construction factoids
- Site preparation is equivalent to 10 Lake Eolas (227 acres)
- Total piles, laid end to end, would stretch from Orlando to St. Augustine (107 miles)
- Total tonnage of steel used matches Empire State Building (roughly 60,000 tons)
- Cubic yards of concrete placed could fill Spaceship Earth (Epcot) nearly 4 times
As part of the process of moving toward completion, the Board approved a pair of concessions agreements with Walt Disney Parks & Resorts and Sea World Parks & Entertainment. Each currently operates Theme Retail Concessions in the North Terminal and the new agreement expands their presence to the South. Disney will operate a two-level space for an initial term of 15 years. Sea World will operate a one-level space for a 10-year initial term.
Other items of note include the selection of the Stiles Corporation to provide property management and leasing services at the Colonial Promenade Shopping Center near Orlando Executive Airport; and the re-appointment of David Konstan as Chairman of the Aviation Noise Abatement Committee. Konstan has served as Chair for more than 30 years.