Orlando International Airport Intermodal Terminal
|Intermodal transit station|
|Owned by||Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA)|
|Line(s)||All Aboard Florida:|
|Connections|| Orlando International Airport|
|Opened||November 17, 2017|
The Orlando International Airport Intermodal Terminal or South Airport Intermodal Terminal is an intermodal transit complex under construction at the Orlando International Airport in Orlando, Florida. The new station, which is partially being funded by the Florida Department of Transportation, will serve as the Orlando station for the Brightline inter-city rail service, which will connect Orlando International Airport to downtown Miami via the Florida East Coast Railway. The terminal building and the adjacent parking garage opened on November 17, 2017, while work on the train terminal continues. The facility is connected to the main airport terminal roughly a mile to the north via an automated people mover (APM) system.
Orlando International Airport
The facility mostly reuses plans from the proposed Florida High Speed Rail system. In that plan, the Orlando International Airport station was to be the northern terminus of the initial Tampa-to-Orlando route along Interstate 4. The plan was effectively cancelled when Florida governor Rick Scott announced he would reject federal funding for the project. The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority had already invested considerably to accommodate the station and high-speed rail line, such as the extra length of the south taxiway bridges over the southern airport access road, which will now be used by Brightline. As part of the $684 million intermodal complex, the airport authority has also built a 2,400 space parking garage.
The SunRail commuter rail line is also considering a 5.5-mile (8.9 km) extension to the airport terminal. The extension would travel 3.5 miles (5.6 km) from the existing SunRail line along an Orlando Utilities Commission rail spur, which runs along the southern boundary of the airport's property. The route 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 (3.2 km) spur that would terminate at the planned South Airport Intermodal Terminal. The second option being explored would be to build a transfer station along 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.
In addition to Brightline and SunRail, the station might also serve one of two proposed rail connections to International Drive. There were plans for an elevated maglev train system, but those were scrapped in 2015. The current plan is for a light rail line that would most likely connect the airport and with the Orange County Convention Center, Florida Mall, and the Sand Lake Road SunRail station before reaching International Drive.
- "Thanksgiving Passenger Traffic, New Automated People Mover Complex and Parking Garage "C" - Orlando International Airport (MCO)". Orlando International Airport (MCO) (Press release).
- "Orlando Int'l Airport to become transportation hub with new train station". WFTV. Archived from the original on December 28, 2014. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
- "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.
- Tracy, Dan (November 16, 2013). "SunRail will not link with Orlando International Airport for five or more years". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
- Tracy, Dan (October 30, 2015). "SunRail link to Orlando airport gets closer look". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved November 5, 2015.
- Dineen, Caitlin (December 9, 2015). "Orlando airport board opts to pursue right-of-way". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved April 1, 2016.