MCO Terminal C Opens New Era of Global Connectivity

Dec. 7, 2022

A clear vision for the future has long been a hallmark of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) and it’s stewardship of Orlando International Airport (MCO). Today, the airport and community celebrated the most recent manifestation of that vision, the historic opening of Terminal C. The dedication ceremony, which included state and local officials, airport partners and community leaders, was the culmination of a decades-long journey of planning, conceptualizing, and more importantly perseverance, to reach completion. This new reality in connecting next-level air travel with multi-modal transportation access will raise the bar for world-class customer convenience.

“Responding to passenger demand and supporting the dynamic growth in Central Florida have always been key elements to our phased development philosophy,” said Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Chairman Carson Good. “This terminal reflects the growth of our global appeal as an international travel gateway for business and leisure.”

“Today’s travelers to and from Central Florida demand efficient connections to other modes of transportation, so it is essential that we stay at the forefront of innovation, customer care and improved connectivity,” says Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Chief Executive Officer Kevin Thibault. “Our challenge will always be to provide state-of-the-art services and facilities at an affordable cost.”

While the Terminal C story may have reached its climax in 2022, it’s really been a chronicle of development dating back to the 1990s. Not long after the new Orlando International Airport opened in 1981, GOAA already began looking farther into the future. With foresight that the region had the potential to become one of the world’s hottest destinations, continued development to support expected passenger traffic growth was envisioned.

Timeline of Terminal C Development

April 1998

  • South Terminal concepts presented to GOAA Board

September 1998

  • Groundbreaking ceremony

April 2000

  • Site preparation underway with three million cubic yards of fill dirt moved

February 2000

  • FAA approves Airspace plan

September 11, 2001

  • In response to unprecedented impacts to aviation industry, GOAA Board slows the pace of several capital programs including many parts of the South Terminal program

May 2015

  • GOAA Board authorizes request to proceed with design of phase one of the South Terminal.

August 2015

  • Authority selects Fentress Architects to design the first phase of Terminal C

March 2016

  • GOAA Board approves construction of Terminal C

March 2017

  • Construction begins

September 2022

  • Terminal C receives first arriving flight

Construction of Terminal C is in line with the Aviation Authority’s history of planned, phased and fiscally-responsible development based on demand and the airport’s Master Plan. In keeping with that spirit of foresight, the GOAA Board approved a $4.2 billion Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) that included renovation and expansion projects that began in 2015. In its full context, the development of the South Terminal Complex included the South Airport Automated People Mover Complex (Terminal Link), Intermodal Terminal Facility (now known as the Train Station) and enhancements to the North Terminal Complex.

Terminal C is the unifying feature of the South Terminal Complex, which will become one of the nation’s first multi-modal transport hubs with direct access to Brightline higher-speed, intercity rail; planned expansion of SunRail commuter rail; a proposed light rail system; multiple ground transportation options; and an Automated People Mover connection between the South and North campuses.

Terminal C is a critical element of airport development and the region’s economic growth. By enabling MCO to accommodate an additional 10-12 million annual passengers, the new facility will increase overall airport capacity to nearly 60 million passengers a year.

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