Orlando International Airport ends 2016 with new passenger record

Orlando International Airport recorded nearly 42 million passengers in 2016, setting a new record for the region’s main airport.“Orlando International Airport just experiences its busiest and most successful year in airport history,” said Frank Kruppenbacher,...

Orlando International Airport ends 2016 with new passenger record

Orlando International Airport recorded nearly 42 million passengers in 2016, setting a new record for the region’s main airport.

“Orlando International Airport just experiences its busiest and most successful year in airport history,” said Frank Kruppenbacher, chairman of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, in a news release.

Airport leaders projected to break the 42 million mark for 2016, but ended the year just shy of the mark with 41.9 million, officials said Friday.

Last year’s total passenger county was 8 percent higher than 2015’s overall passenger count, an increase of 3.1 million.

“As a major economic engine in this community, generating over $31 billion in direct and indirect revenue, record domestic and international traffic means jobs and opportunities for our local economy,” Kruppenbacher said.

Domestic traffic was up 7.73 percent for the year with 36.3 million passengers. International growth was even bigger with a 10 percent increase, according to airport leaders.

In total, about 5.6 million international travelers came to Orlando International in 2016.

“While we reflect on a strong and active year, our challenge now is to continue building upon the momentum we experienced in 2016,” said Phil Brown, the airport’s executive director, in the release. “We are continuing projects that will meet demand for capacity forecasts for 2017 and beyond.”

Airport leaders are currently moving forward with plans the would grow the north terminal’s capacity to 45 million. Construction on the new south terminal is also expected to start this year.

Got a news tip? cdineen@orlandosentinel.com or 407-420-5414; Twitter: @CaitlinDineen

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