Arriving at Orlando International Airport’s new South Terminal C will be different from most U.S. airports. The unique, top-level experience will immerse passengers in a Florida-friendly environment from gate to curb, including their luggage rising up to meet them. An innovative baggage handling system is taking shape as components are being installed throughout the facility.
The most noticeable elements of the system are the revolving carousels, where arriving passengers retrieve their checked bags. Unlike other airports, the carousels are located on the same level passengers deplane. Not only does this add to the convenience of travel to Orlando, but thanks to skylight canopies and floor-to ceiling windows, the visual panorama provides a pleasing welcome to Central Florida.
The key to transporting baggage from the ground level to the top level is a tote system that has more vertical circulation than a traditional conveyor belt system, which is limited by gravity. Additional benefits of the tote system include:
• The bag tag is synced to a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip embedded in the tote, providing 100 percent tracking of the tote and bag
• Significant reduction in noise from a traditional system
• System has capability to reroute totes and baggage around areas closed for maintenance
• System runs at over 99 percent up time
• Baggage jams have been virtually eliminated
• System is augmented by a robotic-controlled Early Bag Storage facility with capacity for approximately 1,800 bags
As of May 2021, Terminal C was 80 percent complete. Construction continues 24/7 and is on schedule for substantial completion in early 2022. When operational, the new terminal’s 15 gates will accommodate up to 20 aircraft and support an additional capacity of 10-12 million annual passengers.