ORLANDO, FL. – For the first time in more than a decade, the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) welcomed a new leader. On March 21st, Kevin Thibault began his tenure as Chief Executive Officer during a record-breaking Spring Break travel period and following the sixth busiest day in Orlando International Airport history.
Mr. Thibault takes over at an exciting time for the Aviation Authority. Post-COVID travel is nearing passenger traffic levels seen prior to the pandemic, South Terminal C is nearing completion and the long-planned-for goal of intermodal connectivity will soon be realized with the arrival of Brightline intercity rail service.
“What excites me is seeing visions and dreams become reality,” Thibault said. “This community’s going to continue to grow and we need to best position this airport to help achieve the mobility needs of this region. Beyond just the aviation mode, beyond the automotive mode, we’re looking now at the rail mode and other modes. It’s exciting to be a part of this and really get the community engaged to make this airport that multi-modal hub that it’s always dreamed to be.”
Mr. Thibault joins the Authority after serving as Florida’s Secretary of Transportation and following a nationwide executive search. His resume includes 18 years at the Florida Department of Transportation serving in various roles and extensive time in the private sector providing transportation engineering services for a number of states. That collective transportation experience gives him a solid foundation to establish the priorities that will keep GOAA moving forward.
“First is to make an environment that’s mutually accessible and satisfying for everyone, not only GOAA employees but those who are part of our extended airport family,” Thibault said. “The second thing is recognizing what this airport means to the community. It truly is a mobility magnet. It’s going to move more people and goods than we’ve ever done before.”
His first week at the helm consisted of various internal and external meetings and events. Included were a welcome gathering in the GOAA Executive Offices; a Directors/Staff meeting; individual meetings with several GOAA Board members; an Orange County transportation forum; a groundbreaking ceremony at Port Canaveral; several receptions with community partner organizations and two airline inaugurals to new international destinations including Avianca service to Medellin, Colombia and Virgin Atlantic service to Edinburgh, Scotland.
Mr. Thibault made his air service debut this week as he delivered welcoming remarks to celebrate Avianca’s new service between Orlando and Medellin, Colombia. This is the third route currently offered by the airline. The flight operates three times a week and connects the City Beautiful to the City of Eternal Spring.
Virgin Atlantic launched MCO’s first-ever service to Edinburgh, Scotland with the Tuesday, March 29 inaugural flight. The third destination currently offered by Virgin Atlantic, the Edinburgh flight is offered two times a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays.