Orlando International Airport (MCO) will open its new South Terminal C in July, 2022, with a focus on technology, innovation, and sustainability.
What does that mean for the flying public? The 300-acre South Terminal C will be able to accommodate 10-12 million passengers annually, and while it consistently ranks among the nation’s best airports for customer service, new technology will make travel more comfortable and more seamless for those millions.
“Some terminals are designed for airlines or aircraft. Orlando International Airport’s new Terminal C is designed for people,” said Bill Brooks, PE, HNTB senior program director for the architect of record.
Along with other innovations, the new terminal is ready to debut the next generation of “The Orlando Experience,” a seamless, low-touch environment featuring a concession hub, interactive video displays in the ticket halls, and access to several indoor spaces that promote sustainability.
Curtis Fentress, FAIA principal in charge of design with Design Architect Fentress Architects, described the South Terminal C’s unique environment: “We really embraced ‘The Orlando Experience,’ with the innovative skylight that produces dappled light. Passengers will feel as though they are walking through an orange grove, one of this area’s most beloved local features. We also utilize plants, trees, and new technology throughout, that will enhance the passenger experience now and for generations to come.”
Picking up luggage after a flight has purposefully been made easier. Visitors will find their baggage carousel on the same level they arrived on, and the carousel even has the ability to raise each bag for less taxing retrieval. Floor-to-ceiling windows provide a welcoming view of the Sunshine State even before visitors leave the terminal.
Tracking bags in real-time has become more efficient, too, thanks to Radio Frequency Identification Technology (RFID). Each bag’s tag is fitted with state-of-the-art RFID chip, ensuring 100% tracking capability and a more streamlined experience.
Arriving passengers can take advantage of the Early Bag Storage robotic system, which can accommodate up to 1,800 bags, giving them the convenience of bag-drop well in advance of their flight.
When it’s time for boarding, MCO offers 100% automated lanes for international departures and arrivals.
“The combination of sophisticated design and innovation truly puts people first in a world-class facility that will deliver ‘The Orlando Experience’ and more the minute they set foot inside,” said Carolyn Fennell, senior director of public affairs and community relations of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. “Orlando International Airport, the main gateway to Florida and one of the country’s most popular leisure destinations, is preparing for the future of travel with this impressive construction endeavor.”