After decades of planning and nearly five years of construction, Orlando International Airport has opened its Terminal C to the public.

The completion of the $2.8bn project was marked by the arrival of an Aer Lingus Airbus A330 carrying passengers from Manchester, England on September 20.

The structure features 15 additional gates which increase the airport’s passenger capacity by around 25% or 10-12 million annual passengers.

“This day has been a long time coming but we’re finally here. Terminal C is open and what a benefit it is to the community,” said Kevin Thibault, chief executive officer of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. “This state-of-the-art terminal is leading the way to a truly intermodal future for all of Central Florida, where passengers will be able to take a plane, a train or an automobile from one location. Today, the vision has become reality.”

Terminal C boasts more than 1,000 video display screens providing directional and flight information, state-of-the-art RFID tags on all baggage, automated TSA screening lanes, and 33 retail and food/beverage concepts including local and national brands.

The airlines set to use the new facility include Aer Lingus, Azul, British Airways, Caribbean Airlines, Emirates, GOL, Icelandair, Lufthansa, and Norse. The anchor airline is JetBlue.

Photo credit: Fentress Architects