• Tram troubles linger at Orlando International Airport

    By: Field Sutton


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - The trams at Orlando International Airport continue to break down and airport leaders are once again going after tram manufacturer Mitsubishi.


    The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority is trying to get as much as $300,000 in concessions from Mitsubishi for delays dating back to July.


    Channel 9’s Field Sutton started looking into problems with the trams in the spring.


    The trams take passengers from the security checkpoint to their gate.


    The most recent tram breakdown happened before midnight Friday, before Hurricane Irma. The tram was running to gates for JetBlue, Frontier and other airlines broke down.


    During Wednesday’s airport board meeting, officials approved hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep bus drivers on standby around the clock for another year while a project to replace half the airport's trams continues.


    "Having those buses out there with drivers on them, we can immediately start moving about 400 people at a time,” said Tom Draper, senior director of airport operations at Orlando International Airport.


    Draper told Eyewitness News airport operations are going better now than when tram breakdowns last spring caused people to miss their flights.


    Draper said those trams haven't broken down in months and their reliability continues to improve.


    The problems now are with the single old tram on another set of tracks that are waiting to be retired.


    "Your flight is still taking off and you're still coming through the security checkpoint. We still have to get you to your gate,” Draper said.


    For another six months, flyers going to gates for JetBlue, Frontier and some international carriers will face possible delays.


    Airport leaders said all the recent breakdowns have been solved quickly. They said no one has missed their flight because of the delays in months.

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