ORLANDO, FL. – In less than a year, Orlando International Airport’s new South Terminal C will welcome its first passengers. A clear sign that preparations are moving toward completion is the installation of the terminal’s first Passenger Boarding Bridges (PBB). At gate C-238, which is one of the South Terminal’s five MARS (Multiple Aircraft Ramp System) airside gates, a pair of PBBs are ready to connect travelers with their aircraft.
The process began with site preparation by main contractors Hensel Phelps and Turner-Kiewit, followed by the installation of the rotundas and the telescoping bridges. The new PBBs are manufactured by JBT Aerotech and include multiple features that will give them a more modern feel:
- LED lighting fixtures
- Slip resistant vinyl flooring
- 10 tons of air conditioning dedicated to keeping the PBBs comfortable during operations (an average size home is cooled with a 3.5 tons of air conditioning).
“We are also providing baggage induction points closer to the planes and adjacent to the PBBs to facilitate the handling of cabin baggage, wheelchairs, etc.,” said Davin Ruohomaki, Senior Director of Engineering & Construction for the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. “This is an upgrade from the traditional baggage slide that will allow for more efficient handling of cabin items.”
According to JBT Aerotech, the design and control features of the new boarding bridges allow for “increased operational flexibility for changing aircraft and terminal configurations.” With the mix of domestic and international service and widebody and narrow body aircraft expected at the South Terminal, the new PBBs are expected to facilitate the safe and expedient handling of any pace of flight activity.
South Terminal progress is nearing the 75 percent complete threshold. Construction continues 24/7 and is on schedule for substantial completion in early 2022. When operational, the new terminal’s 15 gates will accommodate up to 20 aircraft and support an additional capacity of 10-12 million annual passengers.