Orlando International Airport’s summer schedule is busier than ever before, with more than 6 million passengers expected to arrive at the airport during the summer months. For June, July, and August, seat capacity is up nearly 8 percent compared to 2015.
For the past year, Orlando International has operated at 87 percent capacity. Continuing to run at that level, airport officials project more than 10.5 travelers will pass through the Orlando airport this summer. That number is in line with the overall air industry’s forecast for an all-time high level of travel this summer.
Airlines for America predicts 231 million passengers will fly on U.S. airlines between June and August of this year—9 million more than last summer, according to the organization.
“We saw airfares fall throughout 2015, and that trend continued in the first three months of 2016,” John Heimlich, Airlines for America’s vice president and chief economist, said. “As airlines compete for passengers across an increasing portfolio of markets, air travel is becoming increasingly affordable and accessible.”
If the industry projections are correct, Orlando International’s annual passenger count will total over 41 million people. That number would meet the quota set by the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority in December to move forward with the south terminal expansion project.
The Authority said Orlando International needed six months of steady airport traffic, at about 38.5 million passengers on a 12-month rolling calendar. The airport hit that number after January, February, and March. The figures for April have not yet been released.
The project’s funding was approved by the Orlando Aviation Authority in March, though the Authority noted that the quota still needed to be met before they would move forward with construction. Construction could begin as early as 2019, with the first phase including between 16 and 21 new gates, depending on the size of the planes landing at them. A project of this size will cost about $1.8 billion.
The entire expansion project, with the projected 120 new gates at Orlando International Airport, will take about 25 years. For more information regarding Orlando International Airports expansion, [Click Here].
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