Orlando Airport (MCO) Gets $69M For Upgrades (But Not For What Everyone Wants)

by joeheg

Despite it only being open for a few months, the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority has received notice from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration that projects for Orlando International Airport’s (MCO) new Terminal C, that were suspended by the pandemic, are going to get an additional $69 million of funding.

However, this isn’t going to fix one of the biggest complaints about Terminal C.

The consensus about the newly opened Terminal C is mostly positive. With respect to design and amenities, Terminal C meets everything expected in a modern airport. The only complaint is that Terminal C is long. Like, really long. We’re talking a half-mile long, according to a January report in the Orlando Sentinel. And unlike other airports with long distances between gates, there’s no assistance to get from one end of the terminal to the other. There’s no tram, shuttle or even even a moving walkway.

While that might be the most apparent problem with MCO Terminal C, this isn’t the issue getting solved with the federal grant. Instead, Terminal C is going to be able to fix another GLARING problem it’s had since before the state-of-the-art terminal even opened.

That’s the missing connection from the train station to the terminal. Currently, the only way to get to/from the APU/Brightline station to the terminal is to walk through the parking garage.

a parking garage with yellow poles

Level 4 of parking garage, as seen from Terminal C. The APM/train building is ALLLL the way on the other end of the garage (right side center of photo). The passengers’ path to walk is marked with yellow pylons and paint

Given, the path is covered but it’s open air and not a pleasant walk during the Florida heat and humidity festival (which occurs every spring, summer and fall in Orlando).

Upon opening, it was clear a path between the train station and Terminal C was in the plans but never finished.

a construction site with several pillars

View of Terminal C from the APU/train station

I think the upcoming completion of the Brightline train line between Miami and Orlando is the incentive to get the $20 million in funding to complete the 450-foot walkway.

Along with the walkway, MCO is getting an additional $49 million for the Terminal C Phase 1 Expansion project, which includes the construction of four additional Multiple Aircraft Ramp System (MARS) gates capable of serving either four wide-body or eight narrow-body aircraft.

While Terminal C currently houses JetBlue and several of MCO’s international airlines, it’s set to be a major part of the airport’s expansion into the next decades. Getting the money to finish these construction projects will go a long way to bring Terminal C to the destination it was planned to be.

It sure would be nice to have some moving sidewalks there, though.

Want to comment on this post? Great! Read this first to help ensure it gets approved.

Want to sponsor a post, write something for Your Mileage May Vary, or put ads on our site? Click here for more info.

Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love it if you decided to hang around and sign up to get emailed notifications of when we post.

Whether you’ve read our articles before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!

This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


StAugustine March 2, 2023 - 2:12 pm

I was there in February. My biggest issue: the rental car. To pick it up I had to go outside Level 6 of Terminal C and take a shuttle bus to Terminal B. I could drop the car off in the Terminal C parking garage, but then had to walk through the parking garage, up an elevator to an escalator that was being worked on so I had to lug my suitcase up a flight of stairs, through a set of doors, down a corridor, take a right, down another longer corridor, then down an escalator to the JetBlue ticket counter. Whew!

Randy March 4, 2023 - 12:51 am

Maybe some day they will put in the moving sidewalks that they ripped out of the other terminal to appease the retailers. What a crock, DFW did the same thing in Terminal D.


Leave a Comment