New, cheaper parking facility opening at Orlando airport

By Ryan Harper, Real-Time Traffic Expert
Last Updated: Thursday, November 16, 2017, 6:42 PM EST

Orlando International Airport officials are opening a new facility early Friday, just in time for some the busiest travel days of the year.

A new Automated People Mover tram station will open for business, transporting people between Terminals A and B and a new, six-story parking garage at Terminal C.

The Garage C facility will open at 12:01 a.m. — and it couldn't come at a better time, with airport officials projecting a 9 percent increase in travelers this holiday season.

Airport officials hope it will alleviate traffic on the north side of the complex.

"We expect when we get the October numbers, it will be in excess of 44 million annual passengers. The operating capacity of the north terminal complex is about 40 million. So we're operating over capacity now," said Phil Brown, executive director of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority.

The new garage adds 1,600 new parking spaces to accommodate the airport's already overcrowded garages, which fill to capacity on a daily basis.

This Saturday is expected to be the second busiest day of this holiday season, with more than 136,000 airport travelers. The peak day is the Saturday after Thanksgiving, with the airport seeing more than 142,000 travelers.

Officials are urging travelers to arrive about 3 hours before their flights to accommodate time at the security checkpoints.

At the new complex, travelers can check into flights, check baggage and use the tram to get to the main terminals. The parking fee will also be slightly cheaper, $15 instead of $17.