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"OIA Shifts Hub Proposal Into Gear"
Friday, April 20, 2007
OIA Shifts Hub Proposal Into Gear
By Beth Kassab
The Orlando (FL) Sentinel
Officials at Orlando International Airport are preparing to move ahead with
the construction of a transportation hub, the first piece of a long-awaited
south terminal complex.
The facility, which will include buses, taxis, resort shuttles such as
Disney's Magical Express and potentially rail, is estimated to cost at least
Eventually, the hub may also include a hotel and conference center if the
airport can find outside developers to build those aspects of the project.
Airport officials say building the transportation hub is the next logical
step in the airport's future and a move that could buy them more time before
launching construction on a new multibillion-dollar terminal, because the
hub would free up space in the existing terminal. But some who do business
with the airport are worried about the impact.
Craig Mateer -- president of BAGS Inc., a company that transports
passengers' luggage between the airport and Walt Disney World, other hotels
and cruise terminals -- says he has some concerns.
"We've got to go through the details," he said. "I think there's a lot of
issues with this," but he declined to be more specific.
Airport Executive Director Steve Gardner said he was confident any concerns
would be resolved.
"You work these things out," he said.
The facility would precede a long-planned south terminal, for which the
final design was unveiled Wednesday. Plans call for a 24-gate, 2.2
million-square-foot terminal with lots of skylights and a central garden.
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