A week ago, Orlando International Airport (MCO) received an update on the progress of the new South Terminal Complex. Curtis Fentress, President and CEO of Fentress Architects, in collaboration with General Consultant Schenkel Shultz and Architect of Record HNTB, presented the board with a proposed vision and 30 percent design for the $1.8 billion Terminal C, Phase 1 project.
Fentress presented the Board with conceptual drawings for several aspects of the South Terminal’s features including the Town Square and Palm Court interior concepts.
The design, especially interiors, seem to mimic the USA mall experience. Key design elements support the central theme of “The Boulevard”, which connects civic areas and provides a unique customer experience. The airport design has taken design cues from the architects previous work at the TBIT terminal at LAX. The Boulevard reinforces the campus vision through purposeful landscape and unifying elements such as imaginative multi-media areas and dynamic concessions.
Construction could begin as early as the first quarter of 2017 with completion by the summer of 2020. “Our community is building and growing so we need to enhance our ability to handle the expected increase in visitors,” said Frank Kruppenbacher, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Chairman. “As the premier global gateway into Central Florida, meeting the rising demand and maintaining the highest travel standards is our responsibility.”
As passenger traffic at Orlando International continues to increase at record pace, the need for expanding capacity becomes more urgent. With current construction projects already underway, the North Terminal Complex will reach its maximum capacity of 45 million annual passengers. For the 12-month period ending in September, MCO had handled 41.5 million passengers. Phase One of the STC will add 16 gates to increase Orlando International’s capacity to 55 million annual passengers by accommodating more domestic and international flights.