Orlando International Airport history

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

1975:
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.

1976:
Received international status; renamed Orlando International Airport.

1978:
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.

1981:
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.

1982:
MCO and its environs annexed into city increasing total city acreage by 23 percent; Orlando Tradeport 1,400 acre aviation business park launched.

1984:
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.

1985:
B-52 Memorial Park is dedicated; first million passenger month recorded in March; total of 10 million passengers.

1986:
Reached 1990 passenger projection of 12 million passengers; $86 million in revenue bonds issued for initial portion of Phase II expansion.

1988:
$430 million in bonds issued for Phase II Capacity Improvement Program consisting of expanding the terminal building, airfield, roadway and tenant improvements.

1989:
Third parallel runway opened; ranked 17th in the United States and 26th worldwide; international traffic increased 106 percent.

1990:
Opened a third airside terminal with 15 commuter positions; a new FIS concourse increased capacity to 2,000 international passengers per hour.

1991:
Opened 42,160 square foot atrium and 1,682 space terminal top parking garage.

1992:
Opened 446 room Hyatt Regency Hotel and a U.S. Department of Agriculture plant inspection station and perishables center.

1993:
Opened South Access Roadway; board approved five year capital plan of $768,500,000.

1994:
The airport was presented the "Airports Are For The People" award for outstanding customer service by Airport Interviewing and Research, Inc.

1995:
Received Design Arts award for Phase II Expansion projects

1996:
Rated by the International Air Transport Association as #1 Airport in North America for overall passenger satisfaction; Southwest Airlines inaugurated service.

1997:
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.

1998:
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.

1999:
Virgin Atlantic became the first international signatory carrier: rated #1 Airport in North America for overall passenger satisfaction by IATA.

2000:
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.

2001:
FedEx regional sorting facility opened; major changes in national security; ranked the number one airport in North America by J.D. Power and Associates.

2002:
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.

2003:
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.

2004:
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.

2005:
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.

2006:
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.

2007:
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.

2008:
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.

2009:
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.

2010:
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.