ORLANDO, Fla. -- New anticipated growth is forcing Orlando International Airport leaders to look at expanding their new south terminal, even before it opens.
- New terminal to add 16 gates
- But that may not be enough once built, some say
- Leaders may consider adding 3 more gates
- South Terminal set to open in 2021
Construction is underway on the new terminal, which will add 16 gates to accommodate up to 21 airplanes.
However, given the projected growth, the airport will need more room for more passengers and airplanes.
"By the time we're done with the gates, we are going to be out of capacity, so we need to expand," said Frank Kruppenbacher, the chairman of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority.
On Wednesday, the GOAA will consider adding three more gates for six more airplanes.
If the $670-million expansion is approved, those three additional gates would open with the rest of the South Terminal Phase 1 in the year 2021.
The new south terminal is expected to primarily handle international flights.
Expanding the south terminal comes on the heels of last week's news that Orlando broke the U.S. record for most visitors last year.
"We're very fortunate that Orlando is growing as a business community and a tourism community and that's resulting in large number of passengers," said Kruppenbacher.
Adding the three gates should allow the aviation authority to keep up with projected demand through the year 2025.
Orlando International Airport is Florida's busiest airport. Last year the airport had a record 44.6 million passengers.
The airport is expect to hit 46 million passengers by the fall of this year.