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FL Airport Project Sees $371M Funding Cut

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

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Officials with the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority have officially sliced into the budget for the Orlando International Airport’s South Terminal project in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on air traffic.

The Project

The project is a $3 billion venture that is slated to open in 2022 and is currently 60% complete.

The most recent update on the project came last week, when a distinct architectural feature of the South Terminal design—dubbed “The Prow”—was raised into place.

Images: Greater Orlando Aviation Authority

Officials with the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority have officially sliced into the budget for the Orlando International Airport’s South Terminal project in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on air traffic.

Teams from Hensel Phelps and a Turner-Kiewit Joint Venture, the Construction Managers at Risk for the project, met with executives from the authority to celebrate the milestone. Phil Brown, GOAA’s Chief Executive Officer and Airport Director, and others signed the 66,000-pound beam before it was raised.

The site is reportedly active with approximately 1,600 workers. Once the complete, the project will reportedly add 2 million square feet to the airport’s footprint.

The Cuts

At a virtual meeting earlier this month, Brown stressed that the operations and construction is paid for with income from fees and rentals from airport tenants, who are earning little or no revenue in the current climate.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Brown provided an outlook of passenger counts, which took a downturn from the annual rate of 51 million that was seen in February. He said an estimated 26 million passengers will pass through the airport this fiscal year, 25 million next year, 40 million in 2023, 45 million in 2024 and 49 million in 2025, though he added the possibility that the counts are underestimated.

This plunge and slow recovery outlook is what prompted the budget changes.

The most recent update on the project came last week, when a distinct architectural feature of the South Terminal design—dubbed “The Prow”—was raised into place.

Before the health crisis, the airport was committed to spending $4 billion on overall construction and expansions, including the $3 billion terminal project. Now, the authority agreed to cut $371 million total—$226 million from the terminal plan.

The reductions will be seen in downgrading the 19 planned gates to 15, which eliminates the need for an entire wing and related facilities.

Some argued, however, that while the updated forecast shows that those additional gates won’t be needed for years, the delay will likely see escalated construction costs down the line.

   

Tagged categories: Airports; COVID-19; Funding; Maintenance + Renovation; NA; North America; Ongoing projects; Renovation

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