OIA Shifts Hub Proposal Into Gear

April 20, 2007
The $200 million transportation hub would be the first part of the planned south terminal

Officials at Orlando International Airport are preparing to move ahead with the construction of a transportation hub, the first piece of a long-awaited south terminal complex.

The facility, which will include buses, taxis, resort shuttles such as Disney's Magical Express and potentially rail, is estimated to cost at least $200 million.

Eventually, the hub may also include a hotel and conference center if the airport can find outside developers to build those aspects of the project.

Airport officials say building the transportation hub is the next logical step in the airport's future and a move that could buy them more time before launching construction on a new multibillion-dollar terminal, because the hub would free up space in the existing terminal. But some who do business with the airport are worried about the impact.

Craig Mateer -- president of BAGS Inc., a company that transports passengers' luggage between the airport and Walt Disney World, other hotels and cruise terminals -- says he has some concerns.

"We've got to go through the details," he said. "I think there's a lot of issues with this," but he declined to be more specific.

Airport Executive Director Steve Gardner said he was confident any concerns would be resolved.

"You work these things out," he said.

The facility would precede a long-planned south terminal, for which the final design was unveiled Wednesday. Plans call for a 24-gate, 2.2 million-square-foot terminal with lots of skylights and a central garden.

CONTACT: Beth Kassab can be reached at or 407-420-5448.

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