Case Study

Orlando International Airport South Airport Automated People Mover Complex The Future Arrives for Multimodal Airport

Orlando, Florida, USA

The Challenge

HKS designers worked with SchenkelShultz to produce one of the first multimodal airport terminals in the United States to provide seamless connectivity of ground, rail and air transport. The greenfield project’s concept called for creating a state-of-the-art facility that references the grand rail terminals of the past while encompassing the modern interpretation of what the airport calls the “Orlando Experience.”

The Design Solution

The Automated People Mover (APM) and ITF Intermodal Terminal Facility (ITF) consists of 475,000 square feet across three levels. The ITF is planned to initially accommodate two rail modes of transportation initially, the APM and the Brightline intercity high-speed rail, as well as ground transportation consisting of public busing, shuttle busses, taxis and limousines. The terminal structure is a combination of concrete columns on pilings and steel beams, girders and long span trusses. The project provides a timeless, modern architectural style that makes a bold first impression while establishing a civic presence at the terminal’s so-called “front door.” The facility strategically links air, rail and ground transportation modes along an organizational element known as the “Boulevard.” With intuitive wayfinding and commanding views, the Boulevard features a terrazzo floor pattern that hearkens to the natural springs of Central Florida. Glazed walls provide exterior views of the rail and air activity at the airport and complementary nested barrel roof was designed next to the Boulevard to house the future Brightline.

The Design Impact

The LEED V4 certified project is the central link between the existing North Terminal and a planned 120-gate development of the South Terminal. Additionally, the APM/ITF is designed to accommodate two future modes of rail transportation, light rail and commuter rail.

Project Features

  • 475,000 square feet (44,128 sm)
  • Three levels
  • Passenger drop-off facility
  • 2,400-car, six-level parking garage (expandable to 5,000 cars)
  • Automated People Mover (APM) linking North and South terminals
  • Intercity high-speed rail service
  • Designed to accommodate future Consolidated Rental Car Facility (ConRAC)
  • LEED V4 certification


  • 2019 American Council of Engineering Company Florida Chapter, Engineering Excellence Awards, Grand Award
  • 2018 ENR Southeast Best/Airport Transit Project of the Year Award

Today’s travelers to Central Florida demand a higher level of service and efficient connections to other modes of transportation, so it is essential that we strive to stay at the forefront of innovation, customer care and improved connectivity.

Executive Director, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority