Orlando International Airport’s Airport Authority had meeting yesterday and they decided to cut back on their new terminal to cut costs by $226 million and they are making a deal with vendors like airlines and rental car companies to waive or defer three months of rent in May, June and July.
“Airlines will be offered a deferral of rents, car-rental companies will be offered a 90-day waiver and concessionaires will have be offered either a deferral or waiver for the period.”
So far the authority has cut their operating budget by $18 million in 2020 and next year they are going to cut $45 million. They are going to try to get those savings by measures like “idling escalators and automatic doors to reduce power and upkeep costs to canceling upgrades and maintenance.”
The airport did have a budget of $4 billion that was to go towards expansions and construction with $3 billion allocated for the new terminal that is about a mile away from the current one. It’s about 60% complete at this time but now they need to cut $226 million from the plans and an additional $145 million from other projects that were budgeted.
One of the biggest saving would come from reducing the number of planned gates from 19 to 15. Because “the forecast for passenger volumes suggests that those four gates would not be needed until late in this decade and that it then might take two to three years to build the gates at a significantly higher cost than currently budgeted.”
The new airport is scheduled to open in 2022.
It is important to note the cuts are coming because the airport is not funded by taxes and the costs associated with both operation and construction come from the rentals and fees paid to the airport, according to Phil Brown, Airport Director.
“Passenger traffic drives virtually everything we do. Everybody is in a struggle for survival.”
It sounds like the airport is in the same boat as the theme parks. Guests make it go. They have to adjust where they can to do what they can to keep the airport going.
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Source: Orlando Sentinel