Orlando International Airport puts new technology at the forefront

by Susan and Simon Veness

Orlando International Airport (MCO) will open its new South Terminal C in July, 2022, with a focus on technology, innovation, and sustainability.

Orlando International Airport South Terminal C
Photos by Orlando International Airport

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.

Orlando International Airport Moment Vault
Moment Vault

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.

Palm Court
Palm Court

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.”

For more information visit OrlandoAirports.net.

Front-row POV of APM (Automated People Mover) at Orlando International Airport

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TomC February 22, 2022 - 6:13 pm

Those gates look like they have two jetways per gate? That would speed up loading and unloading the larger two-aisle planes! Or maybe it is just two gates sharing the same boarding area.

Keith Thomas February 25, 2022 - 2:17 pm

I’ve travelled all over the US for business for many years without departing from Orlando until recently. I was shocked by the unpleasant nature of the experience. Appallingly long wait to get through security. I hope the new terminal helps improve this element of the airport.

Barack Obama February 26, 2022 - 8:08 am

Article lacks detail and is full of fluffy puff piece statements from project particuapnts.

DONALD TRUMP October 17, 2022 - 3:21 pm

For sure, we need to build a beautiful wall around MCO and Make Orlando Great Again


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