A new terminal worth $2.8 billion will be built in the Orlando airport

A new terminal worth $2.8 billion will be built in the Orlando airport

Visitors of the new terminal at the Orlando International Airport would be well advised to wear sunshades, sunscreen, and a wide-brimmed straw hat. The building will be designed in such a way as to soak it in sunlight coming through many skylights in high ceilings. As they see giant artificial palm trees and LED screens showing images of underwater springs, Terminal C passengers will immediately realize they have arrived in the Sunshine State.

The Orlando Airport is the seventh in the world by passenger traffic. City authorities are investing $2.8 billion in an 1.8 million sq feet (167,225 sq meters) terminal that will open this week, betting that great future awaits Florida’s tourism industry.

Last year, the Orlando International Airport served 40.3 million passengers. This is the state’s busiest airport, according to Airports Council International. But this is still one fifth less than the 2019 passenger traffic before the start of the coronavirus pandemic. As of late June 2022, the sum of passengers over the past 12 months reached 47 million – just shy of 50.6 million in 2019.

Adding Terminal C with 15 new gates will increase the airport’s capacity by a fourth (12 million passengers). Airport officials say that the new terminal will be among the most high-tech in the USA.

Over the last 10 years before the pandemic, the load on the first two terminals was gradually growing, as Central Florida was becoming the most visited destination in the US. Last year, 59.3 million visitors came to the Orland area, which is two thirds more than 35.3 million in 2020, when Florida’s theme parks shut down for several months and international air travel was restricted to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Last year, however, the region’s number of visitors was still below the previous high of 75.8 million people.

After international travel restrictions were lifted this year, Florida and Orland can reach the pre-pandemic number of tourists. Last year, Florida was visited by 122 million people. Judging by the first two quarters of the current year, their number in 2022 could well reach that of three years ago.

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