GOAA CEO shares vision, strategies for growing Orlando International Airport

ORLANDO, Fla. — Spring break travel season is in full swing.


Over the weekend, more than 388,000 travelers moved through Orlando International Airport.

Spring break 2024 is expected to be even busier than last year’s record-breaking season.

Channel 9′s Alexa Lorenzo spoke with Greater Orlando Aviation Authority CEO Kevin Thibault about how the airport plans to handle this increase in travelers.

READ: Orlando named ‘best city’ for sporting events

Thibault hit the ground running after being named CEO. His first focus was on opening Terminal C at Orlando International.

“It’s helped us move ... millions of passengers down from the north terminal complex down to this new south terminal area, and really helped us provide a little bit more relief.”

The timing of it all was vital. Travel bounced back in a big way after the pandemic and the number of passengers continues to climb.

Airport leaders are making Terminal C an international travel hub.

READ: Growth continues at the Orlando International Airport

Thibault noted that Terminal C will welcome three more airlines in addition to the dozen or so that currently operate there. Aeromexico, Copa, and Avianca will arrive on April 1.

And it doesn’t stop there. An expansion is well underway and Thibault said 8 gates are being developed.

“This year they will work on the concept and cost of it all to put a timeline for that expansion in place. Adding those gates will bring the total to 24 gates in Terminal C,” Thibault said.

In 2022, he said the airport saw more than 50 million passengers. In 2023, that total jumped to nearly 58 million passengers.

“That growth requires us then to keep ahead of this by expanding the complex here in the south terminal complex.”

This fall, crews plan to finish construction of a pedestrian bridge connecting the train station where Brightline runs directly to Terminal C, bringing more travelers to the airport.

READ: See where Brightline plans to open another Central Florida station

“Hopefully, with the work with the community partners in such a corridor, we see the expansion to SunRail coming over here at the train station, which was always envisioned to occur for for many, many decades.”

And while it won’t be at the same pace as last year, Thibault said he expects continued growth at Orlando International Airport in 2024.

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