May 16, 2020

Orlando Airport is to undergo $1.8 billion expansion project

The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Board
General Consultant Schenkel Shultz and Architect of Record HNTB
South Terminal Complex
Curtis Fentress
Catherine Sturman
2 min
Orlando Airport to undergo a $1.8 billion expansion project
The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Board has received an update on the progress of the new South Terminal Complex. Curtis Fentress, President and CE...

The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Board has received an update on the progress of the new South Terminal Complex. Curtis Fentress, President and CEO of Fentress Architects, in collaboration with General Consultant Schenkel Shultz and Architect of Record HNTB, has presented the board with his proposed vision and 30 percent design for the $1.8 billion Terminal C, Phase 1 project.

Fentress presented the Board with conceptual drawings for several aspects of the South Terminal’s features, including the Town Square and Palm Court interior concepts. The designs incorporate beauty, efficiency, convenience and innovative concepts such as creating an arrivals experience on the terminal’s upper level.

“We want to go beyond The Orlando Experience to the future,” said Fentress. “Using our touchstones of design, we want to create a timeless design for the passenger experience now and for generations to come.”

Key design elements support the central theme of “The Boulevard”, which connects civic areas and provides a unique customer experience.

The Boulevard reinforces the campus vision through purposeful landscape and unifying elements such as imaginative multi-media areas and dynamic concessions.

Fentress is recognized as an industry leader in aviation architecture with a design portfolio that includes Denver International Airport, Los Angeles International, Seattle-Tacoma and Incheon, South Korea.

During the presentation, board members provided input for the continuing evolution of the design. The board then voted to approve the vision and design as presented along with authorizing the start of construction.

Construction could begin as early as the first quarter of 2017 with completion by the summer of 2020.

“Our community is building and growing so we need to enhance our ability to handle the expected increase in visitors,” said Frank Kruppenbacher, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Chairman. “As the premier global gateway into Central Florida, meeting the rising demand and maintaining the highest travel standards is our responsibility.”

“Today’s travellers to Central Florida demand a memorable experience, so it is essential that we strive to stay at the forefront of design, innovation, customer care and improved connectivity,” says Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Executive Director Phil Brown. “Our challenge is to provide state-of-the-art services and facilities at an affordable cost.”

As passenger traffic at Orlando International continues to increase at record pace, the need for expanding capacity becomes more urgent.

With current construction projects already underway, the North Terminal Complex will reach its maximum capacity of 45 million annual passengers.

For the 12-month period ending in September, MCO had handled 41.5 million passengers. Phase One of the STC will add 16 gates to increase Orlando International’s capacity to 55 million annual passengers by accommodating more domestic and international flights.

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Jun 14, 2021

The construction industry: Facing a mental health crisis

3 min
Reports have shown the construction industry is facing a mental health crisis. We take a look at why this is and how to improve awareness in the industry

Data collected by the Office for National Statistics has shown that more than 2,000 construction workers took their own lives in 2017. Other findings from a study conducted by the Glasgow Caledonian University show that the problem is getting worse. From 2017 to 2019, the number of suicides per 100,000 rose from 26 to 29, with people in the construction industry three times more likely to take their own lives in 2019 compared to other industries.

Why is the construction industry experiencing a rise in mental health conditions?

Bill Hill, Chief Executive of the mental health charity Lighthouse Club, says that one reason for the rise in mental health conditions is due to financial pressure. He said that it is a “huge factor” in construction, “causing stress, depression, and anxiety”. He added that several self-employed workers are “brilliant tradespeople but don’t have the education”, which may be helpful in running their business. 

“They win a project, someone pays them a big invoice but they don’t put money aside for VAT [and then] the taxman asks for payment so they get finance. It tumbles from there. Sole trader-style business management should be taught at apprenticeship level”, Hill said. 

According to Lighthouse Club, the industry is “hugely fragmented” and “difficult to reach over half of the 2.8mn self-employed construction workers. “Some larger companies have done a fantastic job on mental health”, Hill says. “But only apply their programmes and workshops to their own staff. Until you get to the huge mass of very capable tradespeople who are getting no input, one of the biggest problems is awareness”. 

How can awareness of mental health be improved in the construction industry? 

Chief Executive of the Construction Industry Council, Graham Watts, says that the industry has made positive steps forward on mental wellbeing but that “it is still not doing nearly enough” to support staff in this area. 

Looking at how awareness of mental health can be improved in the industry today, Watts said: “Today, I would hope it is easier to be more open about mental health. I’m impressed by the leadership that is being shown by some companies – for example, Tideway, where Chief Executive Andy Mitchell has ‘mental health first aider’ immediately after his email sign-off – but it is still only being exhibited by the best of the best”.

Lighthouse club has also launched a campaign for construction workers to raise more awareness of mental health in the industry. Named “Help Inside the Hard Hat”, the campaign makes all workers aware of the services that Lighthouse Club offers, “regardless of employment status”, the charity says. Lighthouse Club is taking particular care to encourage contractors to put up posters on sites and ensure that they reach all workers, including the self-employed. 

The charity also has a free app that allows workers to access mental health information and resources. Lighthouse Club is also improving the availability of information by working with partners such as the Safer Highways charity and Glasgow Caledonian University. But the charity is working on improving the understanding and destigmatisation of mental health in the industry one step at a time. Hill said: “The first thing is suicides,” says Hill. “That is the number one benchmark of all the work we are doing – are we reducing suicides in the industry?”. 

If you are a construction worker - or someone you know is and you need support, you can call the Lighthouse Club helpline on 0345 605 1956. 


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