Orlando International Airport

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For the other international airport serving the Orlando area, see Orlando Sanford International Airport.
Orlando International Airport
Orlando International Airport Logo.svg
Orlando International Airport terminal from arriving airplane.jpg
WMO: 72205
Airport type Public
Owner/Operator Greater Orlando Aviation Authority
Serves Orlando, Florida, US
Hub for
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL 96 ft / 29 m
Coordinates 28°25′46″N 81°18′32″W / 28.42944°N 81.30889°W / 28.42944; -81.30889Coordinates: 28°25′46″N 81°18′32″W / 28.42944°N 81.30889°W / 28.42944; -81.30889
Website orlandoairports.net
FAA airport diagram
FAA airport diagram
MCO is located in Florida
Location within the state of Florida
Direction Length Surface
ft m
17L/35R 9,001 2,743 Concrete
17R/35L 10,000 3,048 Concrete
18L/36R 12,005 3,659 Asphalt/Concrete
18R/36L 12,004 3,659 Concrete
Number Length Surface
ft m
H1 44 13 Concrete
Statistics (2014)
Aircraft operations 290,331[1]
Passengers 35,714,612[1]

Orlando International Airport (IATA: MCOICAO: KMCOFAA LID: MCO)[4] is an international airport six miles southeast of Orlando, Florida, United States. It is the second-busiest airport in the state of Florida[5] the 13th-busiest airport in the United States and the 29th-busiest airport in the world by passenger traffic.[6]

The airport serves as a hub for Silver Airways, as well as a focus city for Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, and Southwest Airlines. Southwest Airlines is the airport's largest carrier by passengers carried. The airport also is a major international gateway for the mid Florida region, with flights by foreign air carriers.

The airport code MCO stands for the airport's former name, McCoy Air Force Base, a Strategic Air Command (SAC) installation, that was closed in 1975 as part of a general military drawdown following the end of the Vietnam War.

In terms of commercial airline service, the Greater Orlando area is also served by Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB), and more indirectly by Daytona Beach International Airport (DAB), Melbourne International Airport (MLB), and Tampa International Airport (TPA).


Military years[edit]

The airfield was originally constructed as a U.S. Army Air Forces facility and military operations began in 1942 as Orlando Army Air Field #2, an auxiliary airfield to Orlando Army Air Base, which is now known as Orlando Executive Airport. Orlando Army Air Field #2 was renamed Pinecastle Army Airfield in January 1943. At the end of World War II, Pinecastle was briefly used for unpowered glide tests of the Bell X-1 from B-29 aircraft before the program moved to Muroc Army Airfield in California– now Edwards AFB – for the world's first supersonic flight. With the establishment of an independent U.S. Air Force in 1947, the airfield was briefly placed in caretaker status, until being reactivated during the Korean War as a Strategic Air Command (SAC) facility for B-47 Stratojets and KC-97 Stratofreighters and renamed Pinecastle AFB.

In the 1950s, the base began hosting SAC's annual Bombing and Navigation Competition. A B-47 Stratojet crashed during the 1958 competition, killing Colonel Michael Norman Wright McCoy, commander of the 321st Bombardment Wing, which was the host wing for Pinecastle AFB. The following year the base was renamed for McCoy. The base later was home to the 306th Bombardment Wing operating the B-52 Stratofortress and the KC-135 Stratotanker. It was also used by EC-121 Warning Star early warning aircraft of the 966th Airborne Early Warning and Control Squadron, a tenant unit at McCoy assigned to the Aerospace Defense Command.

During the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962, McCoy AFB became a temporary forward operating base for more than 120 F-100 Super Sabre and F-105 Thunderchief fighter bombers and the primary base for U-2 reconnaissance aircraft flying over Cuba. One of these U-2s was shot down by Soviet-operated SA-2 Guideline surface-to-air missiles near Banes, Cuba. Its pilot, Major Rudolf Anderson, Jr., USAF, was the crisis' only combat death. Following the crisis, McCoy AFB hosted a permanent U-2 operating detachment of the 100th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing until 1973.

McCoy AFB was identified for closure in early 1973 as part of a post-Vietnam reduction in force. The following year, McCoy's 306th Bombardment Wing was inactivated, its B-52D Stratofortress and KC-135A Stratotanker aircraft reassigned to other SAC units and most of the McCoy facility turned over to the city of Orlando by the General Services Administration (GSA) in late 1974 and early 1975.

Civil-military years[edit]

In the early 1960s, when jet airline flights came to Orlando, the installation became a joint civil-military facility.

Early jetliners such as the Boeing 707, Boeing 720, Douglas DC-8 and Convair 880 required longer and sturdier runways than the ones at Herndon Airport (now Orlando Executive Airport). Nearby lakes and commercial and residential development made expansion impractical, so an agreement was reached between the city of Orlando and the U.S. Air Force in 1962 to use McCoy AFB under a joint arrangement. The military offered a large AGM-28 Hound Dog missile maintenance hangar and its associated flight line ramp area in the northeast corner of the field for conversion into a civil air terminal. The city would then cover the cost of building a replacement missile maintenance hangar on the main base's western flight line. The new civil facility would be known as the Orlando Jetport at McCoy and would operate alongside McCoy AFB. This agreement became a model for other joint civil-military airports in operation today.[7][8]

Airline flights to the Orlando Jetport began shortly after an agreement was signed by the city and USAF in October 1961.[9][10] Over the next few years airline flights shifted from the old Herndon Airport (renamed in 1982 as the Orlando Executive Airport (IATA: ORLICAO: KORLFAA LID: ORL)). In 1971 scheduled airlines were Delta Air Lines, Eastern Air Lines, National Airlines and Southern Airways.[citation needed]

When McCoy AFB closed in 1974/1975, part of the facility stayed under military control to support Naval Training Center Orlando.

There are only a few enclaves on the original McCoy AFB site that the military still uses such as The 164th Air Defense Artillery Brigade from the Florida Army National Guard in the former McCoy AFB Officers Club complex, an Army Reserve intelligence unit in the former SAC Alert Facility, the 1st Lieutenant David R. Wilson Armed Forces Reserve Center supporting multiple units of the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve and Marine Corps Reserve that was constructed in 2002, and a large Navy Exchange for active, reserve and retired military personnel and their dependents.

Civil-only years[edit]

Two Delta Air Lines Boeing 757-200s parked at MCO

In 1975, the final Air Force contingent departed McCoy and the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) was established as a state-chartered governmental agency and an enterprise fund of the city of Orlando. GOAA's mission was to operate, manage and oversee construction of expansions and improvements to both the Orlando International Airport and the Orlando Executive Airport. The airport gained its current name and international airport status a year later in 1976, but retained its old IATA airport code MCO and ICAO airport code KMCO.

The airport became a U.S. Customs Service Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) in 1978, said zone being designated as FTZ #42.[citation needed] In 1979, the facility was also designated as a large hub airport by the FAA based on flight operations and passenger traffic.

In 1978, construction of the current Landside Terminal and Airsides 1 and 3 began, opening in 1981. The original International Concourse was housed in Airside 1 and opened in 1984. Funding to commence developing the east side of the airport was bonded in 1986, with Runway 17/35 (now 17R/35L) completed in 1989. Airside 4 opened in 1990 and also contains an International Concourse for the processing of international flights. Airside 2, which filled out what will become known as the North Terminal complex, was completed in 2000, with the last additional gates added in 2006. Runway 17L/35R was opened in 2003, providing the airport with a total of four runways.

In 1978, MCO handled 5 million passengers. By 2000 that number had risen to 30 million.[citation needed] Today MCO covers 54 square kilometres (21 sq mi) and is the third-largest airport in the United States by area (after Denver which covers 136 square kilometres (53 sq mi) of land area, and Dallas-Fort Worth which covers 84 square kilometres (32 sq mi)). MCO has North America's second tallest control tower, replacing two earlier Air Force and FAA control towers.

MCO was a designated Space Shuttle emergency landing site. The west-side runways, Runway 18L/36R and Runway 18R/36L, were designed for B-52 Stratofortress bombers and due to their proximity to NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center, were an obvious choice for an emergency landing should an emergency "return to launch site (RTLS) attempt to land at KSC fall short. The runway is also an emergency divert site for NASA's Boeing 747 Shuttle Transport Aircraft when relocating orbiters from either west coast modification work or divert recoveries at Edwards AFB, California or the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.[11]

Eastern Air Lines used Orlando as a hub during the 1970s and early 1980s, and became "the official airline of Walt Disney World." Following Eastern's demise, Delta Air Lines assumed this role, although it later pulled much of its large aircraft operations from Orlando, and focused its service there on regional jet flights, specifically with Atlantic Southeast Airlines, Comair and Chautauqua Airlines – all part of the Delta Connection system. All Delta Connection service ended September 30, 2008. However, after the merger with Northwest Airlines, Delta Connection service to Grand Rapids started. Delta Connection service to Raleigh/Durham also started and service to Miami began on March 27, 2011, but service to Miami has since ended. In recent years, Delta Air Lines has increased its service at Orlando to many places around the US, as well as seasonal service to Cancun, Mexico.

In 2004, Hurricane Charley caused minor damage to the airport when it struck on the evening of August 13, mostly in the form of shattered terminal windows. Normal service resumed as soon as the weather cleared.[citation needed]

On February 22, 2005, MCO became the first airport in Florida to accept E-Pass and SunPass toll transponders as a form of payment for parking. The system allows drivers to enter and exit a parking garage without pulling a ticket or stopping to pay the parking fee. The two toll roads that serve the airport, SR 528 (Beachline Expressway) and SR 417 (Central Florida GreeneWay), use these systems for automatic toll collection.

In October 2006, MCO opened a 100-space Cell Phone Parking Lot for drivers to use while waiting for passengers to arrive. The lot is set up as a free Wi-Fi Hotspot, enabling drivers to use their mobile devices to access the Internet, check e-mail, and monitor flight status. Around the same time MCO opened an Express Pickup service at each terminal allowing drivers to park their vehicles temporarily at a secure location just outside of baggage claim and meet their arriving party in person. A fee is charged for this service and is only available to E-Pass and SunPass users.

In late 2007, Lufthansa introduced flights to Frankfurt. The new Orlando–Frankfurt route was celebrated by airport and airline officials as a major breakthrough in International travel for Orlando International.

On March 19, 2008, JetBlue announced Orlando as a new focus city. Orlando serves as a key connecting city to international destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico, and South America.[12]

The original terminal building, a converted hangar, was described as inadequate for the task at hand even when it was first opened as Orlando Jetport. After its closure in 1981, it passed through several tenants, the last of which was UPS. It was demolished in May 2006.[13]

On February 1, 2010, Allegiant began operations at the airport. The company moved one half of its Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) schedule to Orlando to test revenue at the higher cost airport.[citation needed] After evaluating the routes out of Orlando, the carrier decided to consolidate and return its Orlando area operations to SFB citing an inability to achieve a fare premium at MCO as anticipated, passenger preference for Orlando Sanford International Airport, higher costs at MCO than expected and a more efficient operating environment at SFB.

Terminals and concourses[edit]

View of the East Atrium, showing the on-site hotel rooms of the Hyatt Regency

The Orlando International Airport has a hub-and-spoke layout with a large main terminal building and four airside concourses accessible via elevated people movers. The main terminal building is divided into two terminals; A and B. There are passenger check-in and baggage claim facilities on both the building's north side (Terminal A), and on the building's south side (Terminal B). Both terminals share two security checkpoints, one in the West Hall leading to Airsides 1 and 3, and another in the East Atrium, leading to Airsides 2 and 4. Unlike the similar setup used in Tampa, passengers are required to go through security before accessing the people movers.

Airsides 1 and 3, and later Airside 4, were designed by KBJ Architects,[14] while Airside 2 was designed by Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum, Helman Hurley Charvat Peacock Architects, and Rhodes + Brito Architects.[15] C.T. Hsu + Associates and Rhodes + Brito Architects designed renovations that were made to Airsides 1 and 3, which were completed by April 2010.[16]

Airside 4 currently serves as the airport's primary international arrivals concourse; however, Airside 1 also handles some international arrivals. Arriving international passengers who require immigration and/or customs clearance are processed through those checkpoints in the airside terminal where they arrive. After clearing U.S. immigration, passengers collect their baggage and clear U.S. customs. After clearing customs, international passengers must ride the people mover to the main terminal. Airside 4 provides escalator access directly from the customs hall to the people mover platform. This has eliminated the requirement for arriving international passengers to go through a security inspection between the customs area and the people mover, and as a result they now have the option of bringing their checked baggage with them on the people mover. Alternatively, passengers also have the option of placing their baggage on a transfer belt in the customs hall for transport to the main terminal's baggage claim. Passengers who are connecting to a flight in Airside 4 or clearing customs in Airside 1, as well as airport employees, will need to go through security upon exiting customs.

The airport features a unique on-site Hyatt Regency hotel within the main terminal structure. The hotel is located on the East Atrium side of the terminal with a fourth floor lobby level and guest rooms beginning on level five and above. The airport features an expansive lobby area for guests awaiting flights, convention space, several bars, and two restaurants including a signature restaurant on the top level of the terminal building overlooking the airport facility and runways below.

Terminal A[edit]

Major domestic carriers based in Terminal A include JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines and Virgin America. Major international carriers include Aer Lingus, Aeromexico, Air Transat, Avianca, and Copa Airlines.

Airside 1[edit]

  • Gates 1–29
  • Secondary International Arrivals Concourse
  • Part of original terminal, Opened in 1981
  • JetBlue Airways concourse

Airside 2[edit]

Terminal B[edit]

United Airlines at Gate 41 getting ready to depart to Newark Liberty International Airport.

Major domestic carriers based in Terminal B include American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines. Major international carriers include Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge, British Airways, Emirates, Lufthansa, TAM Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic which primarily operate out of Airside 4, the airport's main international arrivals concourse.

Airside 3[edit]

Airside 4[edit]

Notable services[edit]

Delta Air Lines was the first airline with jet flights to MCO, with their DC-8 'fanjet' 'Royal Service' flights.

Eastern Airlines 'the wings of man', became the first 'official' airline of the Walt Disney World Resort, and sponsored an attraction in their 'Tomorrowland' called: 'If You Had Wings'. Later when Eastern closed Delta took the attraction over, it was called Dream Flight.

In the early 1970s Delta, National, and Eastern Airlines began 'widebody' flights to MCO, National with the DC-10-10 and −30 and Delta and Eastern Airlines with the L-1011. Eastern had wide-body, intrastate service with L-1011 flights to Miami.

Virgin Atlantic's Boeing 747 is currently the largest airliner at the airport. The airline has multiple daily flights from the UK. During peak seasons, up to five Virgin 747s may be at Orlando's gates at once. British Airways competes with Virgin to London Gatwick with ten Boeing 777s a week.[17]

Lufthansa opened a shared gate in Orlando on October 30, 2007, providing the first direct flight between Orlando and a hub in continental Europe (in this case, Frankfurt, Germany) as part of an effort to diversify the local economy beyond tourism. As of late October 2009, Lufthansa expanded its five flights a week to daily between MCO and Frankfurt on Airbus A330s and Airbus A340s, with connections throughout Europe, expanding to a Boeing 747 in the winter.[18]

The Airbus A380, the world's largest airliner, landed at MCO on November 14, 2007 from Montreal. Orlando was one of the first airports in the world to be "Airbus A380 ready".

On June 7, 2011 Air France began service from Orlando to Paris-Charles De Gaulle using the Boeing 777-300ER. This flight ended on September 2, 2012.

On July 2, 2011 Edelweiss Air flying on behalf of Swiss International Air Lines began weekly service from Orlando to Zurich Airport. The service operated on Saturdays only until mid-September.

British charter airline Thomas Cook Airlines is to move its Orlando flights from Sanford Airport where they and predecessors Airtours Intl/MyTravel, and JMC Air have operated since it opened. Flights will commence April 2014.

The inaugural Emirates flight at Gate 84, operated with an Airbus A380 aircraft

In March 2015, Emirates announced that they will begin daily service to the airport from Dubai International Airport beginning September 1, 2015.[19] The airport had tried to attract Emirates for five years before the service was announced.[20][21] Orlando International was the first airport in Florida served by Emirates. The airline expects three major markets for the flights: leisure and corporate travelers along with locals of Asian heritage traveling to Asia, which is well-served by the airline.[22] Greater Orlando Aviation Association Chair Frank Kruppenbacher called the new service "without question the biggest, most significant move forward for our airport"[21] and estimates that the local economic impact of the new service will be up to $100 million annually.[23] The inaugural flight was made with an Airbus A380.[24][25]

OIA versus MCO[edit]

Since the renaming of the former McCoy Air Force Base and the adjacent Orlando Jetport at McCoy as Orlando International Airport in 1976, there has been a propensity in local Central Florida news media outlets (to include their weather reporting services) and other entities in Central Florida outside of the professional aviation community to refer to the airport as "OIA" versus the airport's actual airport code of "MCO" in either reporting or reference.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Note: All flights to Cuba are operated as scheduled Special Authority Charters. All International flights arrive at Airside 1, 3 or 4.

Airlines Destinations Terminal / Airside
Aer Lingus Dublin A/1
Aeroméxico Mexico City A/1
Air Canada Seasonal: Halifax, Ottawa B/4
Air Canada Rouge Montréal–Trudeau, Toronto–Pearson B/4
Air Transat Montréal–Trudeau
Seasonal: Halifax, Québec City, Toronto–Pearson
Alaska Airlines San Diego, Seattle/Tacoma A/1
American Airlines Charlotte, Chicago–O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York–JFK, New York–LaGuardia (begins December 17, 2015),[26] Philadelphia, Phoenix, Washington–National B/3
American Eagle Seasonal: Washington–National B/3
Avianca Bogotá A/1
Azul Brazilian Airlines Belo Horizonte–Confins, Campinas A/1
Bahamasair Nassau B/3
British Airways London–Gatwick B/4
Caribbean Airlines Kingston–Norman Manley, Port of Spain A/1
Choice Airways
operated by Swift Air
Charter: Atlantic City, Havana A/1
Copa Airlines Panama City A/1
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Boston, Brasília (begins December 4, 2015),[26] Cincinnati, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami (begins December 1, 2015),[27] Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York–JFK, New York–LaGuardia, Raleigh/Durham (begins January 5, 2016), Salt Lake City, São Paulo–Guarulhos (begins December 19, 2015),[26] Seattle/Tacoma (begins December 20, 2015)[26]
Seasonal: Cancún, Las Vegas, Milwaukee
Delta Connection Indianapolis (begins December 19, 2015), Raleigh/Durham
Seasonal: Cleveland (begins December 19, 2015),[28] Columbus (OH), Grand Rapids, Hartford, Houston–Intercontinental, Kansas City, Louisville, Memphis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Pittsburgh, Richmond
Emirates Dubai–International B/4
Frontier Airlines Atlanta, Chicago–O'Hare, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Houston–Intercontinental (begins December 19, 2015),[29] Indianapolis, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Milwaukee (begins January 5, 2016),[29] Philadelphia, St. Louis, Trenton, Washington–Dulles
Seasonal: Madison, Omaha
Gol Transportes Aéreos Seasonal: Punta Cana, Rio de Janeiro–Galeão, São Paulo–Guarulhos A/1
Icelandair Seasonal: Reykjavík–Keflavík B/3
JetBlue Airways Aguadilla, Albany (begins December 10, 2015),[30] Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Bogotá, Buffalo, Cancún, Hartford, Mexico City, Montego Bay, Nassau, New York–JFK, New York–LaGuardia, Newark, Newburgh, Ponce, Providence, Richmond, Salt Lake City, San José (CR), San Juan, Santo Domingo–Las Américas, Syracuse, Washington–National, White Plains, Worcester A/1
LAN Peru Lima B/41
Lufthansa Frankfurt B/4
Magnicharters Seasonal Charter: Monterrey A/1
Norwegian Air Shuttle
operated by Norwegian Long Haul
Copenhagen, London–Gatwick, Oslo–Gardermoen A/1
Silver Airways Charleston (SC), Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Key West, Panama City (FL), Pensacola, Tallahassee
Seasonal: Freeport, Marsh Harbour, North Eleuthera
Southwest Airlines Akron/Canton (ends April 11, 2016), Albany, Aruba, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Birmingham (AL), Boston, Buffalo, Chicago–Midway, Columbus (OH), Dallas–Love, Denver, Flint (ends April 11, 2016), Grand Rapids, Hartford, Houston–Hobby, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Long Island/Islip, Louisville, Manchester (NH), Memphis, Milwaukee, Montego Bay, Nashville, Newark (begins April 12, 2016),[31] New Orleans, Norfolk, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Providence, Raleigh/Durham, Richmond (ends April 11, 2016), Rochester (NY), San Antonio, San Diego, San Juan, St. Louis, Washington–National
Seasonal: Albuquerque, Cleveland, Detroit, Dayton (ends April 11, 2016), Little Rock, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Omaha, Portland (ME)
Spirit Airlines Atlanta, Baltimore (begins January 7, 2016),[32] Atlantic City, Chicago–O'Hare, Cleveland, Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Houston–Intercontinental, Pittsburgh–Latrobe, San Juan
Seasonal: Minneapolis/St. Paul
Sun Country Airlines Minneapolis/St. Paul B/4
Sunwing Airlines Ottawa, Toronto–Pearson
Seasonal: Deer Lake, Gander, Halifax, Moncton, Montréal–Trudeau, Winnipeg
TAM Airlines Brasília, São Paulo–Guarulhos B/42
Thomas Cook Airlines Manchester (UK)
Seasonal: Belfast–International, Cardiff, Glasgow–International, London–Gatwick, London–Stansted
United Airlines Chicago–O'Hare, Cleveland, Denver, Houston–Intercontinental, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco, Washington–Dulles B/3
United Express Seasonal: Houston–Intercontinental B/3
Virgin America Los Angeles A/2
Virgin Atlantic London–Gatwick, Manchester (UK)
Seasonal: Belfast–International, Glasgow–International
Volaris Guadalajara, Mexico City A/1
WestJet Calgary, Toronto–Pearson
Seasonal: Charlottetown (begins December 18, 2015),[26] Edmonton, Halifax, Hamilton (ON), Kitchener–Waterloo, London (ON), Moncton, Montréal–Trudeau, Ottawa, St. John's, Vancouver (begins January 1, 2016),[26] Winnipeg


^1 LAN Peru's check in and baggage claim is at Terminal A but uses Airside 4, which are part of Terminal B.

^2 TAM Airlines's check in and baggage claim is at Terminal A but uses Airside 4, which are part of Terminal B.

^3 Virgin Atlantic's check in and baggage claim is at Terminal A but uses Airside 4, which are part of Terminal B.


Cargo airline Destinations
ABX Air Cincinnati, Miami
Emirates SkyCargo Dubai-Al Maktoum
FedEx Express Fort Lauderdale, Memphis, Newark
FedEx Feeder
operated by Mountain Air Cargo
UPS Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth, Louisville, Newark


Top destinations[edit]


Busiest domestic routes from MCO (Sep. 2014 – Aug. 2015)[33]
Rank Airport Passengers Carriers
1 Atlanta, GA 1,306,000 Delta, Frontier, Southwest
2 Philadelphia, PA 719,000 Frontier, Southwest, US Airways
3 New York, NY (JFK) 710,000 American, Delta, JetBlue
4 Newark, NJ 688,000 JetBlue, United
5 Chicago, IL (O'Hare) 626,000 American, Frontier, Spirit, United
6 Dallas/Fort Worth, TX 583,000 American, Spirit
7 Charlotte, NC 525,000 US Airways
8 New York, NY (LGA) 488,000 Delta, JetBlue
9 Detroit, MI 477,000 Delta, Southwest, Spirit
10 Miami, FL 474,000 American
Airline market share
Largest Airlines at MCO
(Jan. 2014 – Dec. 2014)[34]
Rank Airline Passengers Market Share
1 Southwest Airlines 9,474,000 29.99%
2 Delta Air Lines 5,143,000 16.28%
3 JetBlue 4,415,000 13.98%
4 United Airlines 3,578,000 11.33%
5 American Airlines1 3,013,000 9.54%



Orlando International Airport was the 14th largest international gateway in the United States and second largest in Florida (behind Miami International Airport) for the year ending June 2013. The airport handled 3,694,774 arrivals on international flights during that period, of which 82.9% were carried by a foreign airline and 17.1% by a domestic airline.[35]

Leading international carriers from MCO (Oct. 2013 – Sept. 2014)[36]
Rank Airline Passengers Change
1 Virgin Atlantic Airways 809,171 Increase00.13% London–Gatwick, Manchester (UK)

Seasonal: Glasgow–International

2 Air Canada 501,101 Increase05.5% Montréal–Trudeau, Toronto–Pearson

Seasonal: Halifax, Ottawa

3 Copa Airlines 341,160 Increase010.3% Panama City
4 WestJet 311,998 Increase07.6% Calgary, Toronto–Pearson

Seasonal: Edmonton, Moncton, Halifax, Hamilton (ON), London (ON), Montréal–Trudeau, Ottawa, St. John's, Winnipeg

5 TAM Airlines 282,412 Decrease07.7% São Paulo–Guarulhos

Seasonal: Rio de Janeiro-Galeão

6 British Airways 251,011 Increase011.2% London–Gatwick
7 Lufthansa 202,098 Increase00.15% Frankfurt
8 Aeroméxico 143,313 Increase04.3% Mexico City
9 Avianca 115,124 Increase03.1% Bogotá

Seasonal: Guatemala City

10 Gol Transportes Aéreos 95,148 Increase025.2% Santo Domingo–Las Américas, São Paulo–Guarulhos

Airline lounges[edit]

Terminal expansions and renovations[edit]

Airsides 1 and 3, the terminals opened in the early 1980s, recently underwent major renovations, designed by C.T. Hsu + Associates.[16] The new terminal design incorporates a new modern architecture and feature new skylights and expanded concession areas. In addition, the terminal was re-installed with new mechanical and electrical systems. The project was completed in both terminals by 2010. Also, British Airways announced that they opened a 'shared lounge' in Airside 4 in 2012.

South Terminal[edit]

In May 2015, the Board of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) voted unanimously to approve construction of a $1.8 billion terminal south of the existing terminal and adjacent to the intermodal station being built.[37] The new terminal will be adjacent to the South Airport Intermodal Station, which will both be connected to the existing terminal with a new people mover system.[38] Preliminary work for the addition of the South Terminal is ongoing.[39][40]

Rental Car Quick Turnaround Facility[edit]

Two state of the art car rental facilities were recently completed on both the north side Terminal A and south side Terminal B. Select car rental agencies currently operate on-site car rental pickup in the ground level of the main parking garages. The new facilities has relocated the car rental pickup process to the new facilities and has allowed additional space for off-site agencies to relocate to the on-site airport facilities.

South Airport Intermodal Terminal[edit]

The South Airport Intermodal Terminal is currently under construction approximately one mile due south of the main airport terminal. The new station, which is partially being funded by the Florida Department of Transportation, will serve as the Orlando station for the Brightline higher speed regional rail service, which will connect Orlando International Airport to downtown Miami via the Florida East Coast Railway.[41] The station, which will be connected to the main terminal via an automated people mover (APM) system, is mostly reusing plans from the original Florida High Speed Rail Orlando Airport station, which would have been northern terminus of the initial Orlando-Tampa route along the Interstate 4 corridor. However, on February 16, 2011, Florida Governor Rick Scott formally announced that he would be rejecting federal funds and effectively killing the Florida High Speed Rail project. The airport had already invested considerably to accommodate the station and high-speed rail line, such as the extra length of the taxiway bridge over the southern airport access road (which will now be used by Brightline).[42] As part of the estimated $684 million price tag for the airport expansion,[41] the airport authority will also build a new parking garage south of the current parking garages for Terminals A and B, with the station being located where the cell phone waiting lot formally sat.

A future connection to the SunRail commuter rail service is also being explored. The 5.5 mile route currently under consideration would travel 3.5 miles along an existing Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) rail spur, which runs along the southern boundary of the airport's property and is used exclusively by coal trains to serve the Curtis H. Stanton Energy Center in eastern Orange County. From there, two options are currently under consideration; one plan would have SunRail trains branch north off of the existing OUC line and onto a new 2-mile spur terminating at the planned South Airport Intermodal Terminal. The second option being explored would be to build transfer station on the OUC line where passengers would transfer from SunRail trains onto light rail trains that would run along a dedicated 2-mile line between the transfer and airport stations.[43][44]

In addition to Brightline and SunRail, the station will also serve a proposed elevated maglev train system being built by American Maglev Technology, which will connect the airport to the Orange County Convention Center, the Florida Mall, and the Sand Lake Road SunRail station.[45]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On March 31, 1972, a 306th Bombardment Wing B-52D Stratofortress, Air Force Serial Number 56-0625, sustained multiple engine failures and an engine fire shortly after takeoff from McCoy AFB on a routine training mission. The aircraft was not carrying any weapons. The aircraft immediately attempted to return to the base, but crashed just short of Runway 18R in a residential area north of the airfield, destroying or damaging eight homes. The flight crew of 7 airmen and 1 civilian on the ground were killed.[46][47][48]


The Orlando International Airport is a major transportation hub for the Central Florida region and provides various ground transportation options including public transit, private transportation, and car rental.


Lynx, the local metro area public transportation system operates a sub-station at the airport with public bus service to Downtown Orlando and other area routes.

Disney's Magical Express[edit]

A complimentary motor coach transportation service to all twenty four Walt Disney World resort hotels. The motor coach service is operated by Mears Transportation and is available to Disney guests with advance reservations. An agreement with BAGS Incorporated also provides checked luggage pickup and delivery system for Disney guests utilizing the Disney's Magical Express service, checked luggage are picked up by a representative of BAGS Incorporated and delivered directly to the guest's Walt Disney World resort hotel.

Cruiseline transportation[edit]

The airport serves as a major inbound gateway for cruise line passengers departing out of Port Canaveral on lines including Royal Caribbean International, Carnival Cruise Lines, Disney Cruise Line, SunCruz Casinos, and Sterling Casinos, all operating motorcoach transportation to Port Canaveral, primarily with partnerships with Mears Transportation.


Taxi cab service is available via a taxi stand line on the Ground Transportation level of both terminals, airport licensed cab companies include Yellow Cab, Star Taxi, Diamond, Ace, Town & County. Share transportation is not permitted by Orlando City. Airport shuttle transportation services include Super Shuttle, Mears Transportation, and other private transportation companies.

Helipad and Other[edit]

A de facto helipad, referred to by GOAA as a "helistop" in view of its limited facilities, is located on the top level of the terminal top parking garage and is available landing space with proper clearance for private transportation via helicopter. It is often used for transportation of high-profile celebrities and business executives to and from the airport.

The community of The Villages in Sumter, Lake, and Marion has shuttles operating between the community and Orlando International Airport. These services include Village Airport Van, The Villages Transportation, and A-1 Taxi among others.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b http://www.orlandoairports.net/statistics/monthly/trfccy2014.pdf
  2. ^ FAA Airport Master Record for MCO (Form 5010 PDF), effective March 15, 2007
  3. ^ "ACI passenger figures in 2007". Airports Council International. August 1, 2011. Retrieved November 21, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Great Circle Mapper: MCO / KMCO – Orlando, Florida". Karl L. Swartz. Retrieved November 21, 2011. 
  5. ^ Clarke, Sara K. (March 19, 2010). "Orlando International Airport Slips to 13th Nationally, 26th Worldwide". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved November 21, 2011. 
  6. ^ "2011 North American (ACI-NA) Top 50 airports". Airports Council International. October 18, 2011. Retrieved November 21, 2011. 
  7. ^ Northwest Florida Regional Airport
  8. ^ Wichita Falls Municipal Airport
  9. ^ The Quick Ref OAGs for 1 Nov and 15 Nov show a couple of Delta 880s at ORL, with no mention of MCO, but that's presumably a mistake. The 1 Dec shows them at MCO.
  10. ^ "Orlando's $250 Million Airport Giant-Size People Movers". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. 1980-01-20. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  11. ^ Pike, John (July 21, 2011). "Space Shuttle Emergency Landing Sites". Global Security. Retrieved November 21, 2011. 
  12. ^ "JetBlue Plans New Focus City at Orlando International Airport" (Press release). JetBlue Airways. March 19, 2008. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
  13. ^ Kassab, Beth (May 26, 2006). "Original Orlando Terminal Reduced To Rubble". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved June 26, 2009. 
  14. ^ "Aviation List". KBJ Architects. Retrieved June 25, 2012. 
  15. ^ Hanuschak, Blair; Moe, Don (February 2, 2002). "Spanning the Sky" (PDF). Modern Steel Construction. Retrieved June 25, 2012. 
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  17. ^ Maxon, Terry (September 20, 2007). "Slots fort Heathrow". Airline Biz. Archived from the original on November 11, 2007. Retrieved November 21, 2011. 
  18. ^ Garcia, Jason (October 29, 2007). "Area Hopes for Image Upgrade in Lufthansa's New Direct Flights". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved November 21, 2011. 
  19. ^ "Emirates Announces a New Daily Service to Orlando". Emirates. Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  20. ^ Mouawad, Jad (March 16, 2015). "Expansion by Mideast Airlines Sets Off a Skirmish in the U.S.". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 June 2015. [Philip Brown, the director of OIA] has been trying to lure Emirates to Orlando for the last five years 
  21. ^ a b Ober, Amanda (24 March 2015). "OIA announces nonstop service to Dubai on Emirates Airlines". WESH 2. Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  22. ^ Werley, Jensen (2 June 2015). "Private pods, five course meals: Why Emirates' Orlando service will bring high-end flying to Jacksonville travelers". Jacksonville Business Journal. Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  23. ^ Barnes, Susan (2 September 2015). "Emirates touches down in Orlando, shows off its Airbus A380 superjumbo". USA Today. Retrieved 2 September 2015. The estimated economic impact of the new daily flight from Dubai to Orlando is upwards of $100 million annually, according to Frank Kruppenbacher, chairman of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. 
  24. ^ EricaRakow (September 1, 2015). "Inaugural @emirates flight from Dubai to Orlando just landed! This begins daily non-stop service to/from MCO -> DXB" (Tweet). 
  25. ^ "EK219 Flight history". Flightradar24. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  26. ^ a b c d e f "New Air Service". Orlando International Airport. Retrieved 27 September 2015. 
  27. ^ http://airlineroute.net/2015/06/07/dl-mco-dec15/
  28. ^ "Delta to add non-stop flight from Cleveland Hopkins to Orlando". Plain Dealer. June 1, 2015. 
  29. ^ a b Mutzabaugh, Ben. "Frontier beefs up presence in Florida, Denver with 8 new routes". http://usatoday.com. USA Today. Retrieved 31 October 2015. 
  30. ^ http://finance.yahoo.com/news/jetblue-between-albany-florida-takes-183000531.html;_ylt=AwrBJR8G6SJVXiQARJHQtDMD
  31. ^ http://www.swamedia.com/releases/beat-the-heat-start-planning-now-for-spring-vacation?l=en-US
  32. ^ http://www.capitalgazette.com/news/business/ph-ac-cn-spirit-airlines-1022-20151021-story.html
  33. ^ "Orlando, FL: Orlando International (MCO)". Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Retrieved Apr 2015. 
  34. ^ http://atlanta-airport.com/docs/Traffic/201506.pdf
  35. ^ "U.S. International Air Passenger and Freight Statistics: June 2013" (PDF). dot.gov. U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs. October 2013. p. 36. Retrieved 8 August 2014. 
  36. ^ http://www.orlandoairports.net/statistics/monthly/paxsfy2014.pdf
  37. ^ Synan, Michael (20 May 2015). "Nearly $2B for new OIA terminal". MyFoxOrlando.com. Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  38. ^ Tracy, Dan (September 6, 2015). "Construction booming at Orlando International Airport". Orlando Sentinel. 
  39. ^ Allen, Jeff (November 3, 2015). "Work underway for new Orlando airport terminal complex". News 13. Retrieved 6 November 2015. 
  40. ^ Burgess, Kate (November 2, 2015). "Orlando International Airport getting a major makeover". Fox 35. 
  41. ^ a b http://www.wftv.com/news/news/local/orlando-intl-airport-become-transportation-hub-new/ndRXK/
  42. ^ "Florida High Speed Rail Industry Forum" (PDF). Florida High Speed Rail. December 2, 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 27, 2010. Retrieved November 21, 2011. 
  43. ^ "SunRail will not link with Orlando International Airport for five or more years - Orlando Sentinel". Articles.orlandosentinel.com. 2013-11-16. Retrieved 2015-03-03. 
  44. ^ "SunRail link to Orlando airport gets closer look". Orlando Sentinel. 2015-10-30. Retrieved 2015-11-05. 
  45. ^ Jacim, Tracy (18 March 2015). "Orlando's maglev train a step closer to reality". Fox 35 News Orlando. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  46. ^ "McCoy AFB SAC 306 Bomb Wingfire Dept". Strategic Air Command. Retrieved November 21, 2011. 
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  48. ^ "Factual Aviation Report". National Transportation Safety Board. Archived from the original on August 6, 2009. Retrieved November 21, 2011. 

External links[edit]