Orlando International Airport history

Last Updated: Monday, May 07, 2012, 11:03 AM EDT

Deed received by Orlando for surplus land for airport facility use following closure of McCoy Air Force Base in 1974: special State of Florida legislative act created the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority.

Received international status; renamed Orlando International Airport.

Designated Foreign Trade Zone; named fastest growing airport in the national (following deregulation, airlines serving MCO increased from 4 to 9); construction began on new terminal complex.

Completion of the new $300 million MCO Terminal Complex; ranked 25th in passenger traffic in the U.S. with 6 million passengers and 13 signatory airlines.

MCO and its environs annexed into city increasing total city acreage by 23 percent; Orlando Tradeport 1,400 acre aviation business park launched.

Opening of FIS facility for international passengers within the North Terminal Complex; inauguration of direct and first scheduled international service to Europe by Icelandair; ranked 23rd busiest airport in U.S.

B-52 Memorial Park is dedicated; first million passenger month recorded in March; total of 10 million passengers.

Reached 1990 passenger projection of 12 million passengers; $86 million in revenue bonds issued for initial portion of Phase II expansion.

$430 million in bonds issued for Phase II Capacity Improvement Program consisting of expanding the terminal building, airfield, roadway and tenant improvements.

Third parallel runway opened; ranked 17th in the United States and 26th worldwide; international traffic increased 106 percent.

Opened a third airside terminal with 15 commuter positions; a new FIS concourse increased capacity to 2,000 international passengers per hour.

Opened 42,160 square foot atrium and 1,682 space terminal top parking garage.

Opened 446 room Hyatt Regency Hotel and a U.S. Department of Agriculture plant inspection station and perishables center.

Opened South Access Roadway; board approved five year capital plan of $768,500,000.

The airport was presented the "Airports Are For The People" award for outstanding customer service by Airport Interviewing and Research, Inc.

Received Design Arts award for Phase II Expansion projects

Rated by the International Air Transport Association as #1 Airport in North America for overall passenger satisfaction; Southwest Airlines inaugurated service.

Approval of $1.2 billion for Near Term, North Terminal and South Terminal expansion programs to add additional parking, airfield and new airside, rated #1 Airport in North America for overall passenger satisfaction by IATA.

Added 6,100 parking spaces, Quick Park access ramp, ground breaking for South Terminal Complex; rated #1 Airport in North America for overall passenger satisfaction by IATA.

Virgin Atlantic became the first international signatory carrier: rated #1 Airport in North America for overall passenger satisfaction by IATA.

Rated #1 Airport in North America for passenger convenience by J.D. Power and Associates survey; North Crossfield Taxiway, additional satellite parking lot, and fourth airside terminal opened; Consumer Reports recognized MCO as one of the top airports in the U.S. for passenger convenience.

FedEx regional sorting facility opened; major changes in national security; ranked the number one airport in North America by J.D. Power and Associates.

Opening of 345-foot Air Traffic Control Tower (tallest in the nation at the time); Transportation Security Administration (TSA) implements new security operations: Advanced Technology Checkpoint program was tested.

31,700 sq. ft. food court opened as part of the Concessions Redevelopment Program; new fourth parallel runway added; Flight Safety International Simulation facility opened.

31.1 million passengers, making MCO the busiest airport in Florida; ranked first in the nation and second in the world behind Hong Kong in passenger satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associated study.

Introduced E-Pass electronic garage parking payment system, CLEAR registered traveler program using biometrics, 511 travel information voice activated phone system, and complimentary Wi-Fi wireless public internet access; jetBlue University opens for flight crew training.

MCO rated the favorite airport of American Travelers by TripAdvisor.com; MCO approved the use of biodiesel in all GOAA diesel-powered vehicles and purchased its first hybrid car; MCO opened a 100-space Cell Phone lot and Express Pick-Up curb.

Hydrogen buses were introduced for Satellite Parking transport; world's largest commercial passenger aircraft, the A380 made its first southeast United States landing; the first phase of in-line baggage completed; full employee screening began and South Terminal design was completed.

Double-digit international passenger traffic increases with new air service; first Florida airport to open a full service health clinic; Forbes names MCO most "wired" airport; ARN Magazine awarded MCO for best customer service and best concessions management.

Double-digit international passenger growth lead to record number of international visitors; in-line baggage system substantially complete; J.D. Power & Associates ranked MCO #4 in Customer Service; Airsides 1 & 3 rehabilitation complete; rental car Quick-Turn-Around areas expansion substantially complete.

MCO breaks international passenger record with over 2 million travelers; CLEAR registered traveler returns under new ownership; the airport recycling program, GROW, expands to include passenger areas; Disney's Magical Express transports 10 millionth passenger.

2011: MCO celebrated its 30th anniversary; international traffic hit another record high with 3.5 million total passengers.  Brazilian traffic increased 47 percent.