From its original design concept to its 2013 Strategic Plan, the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) has consistently recognized sustainability as an essential component in the future health and success of Orlando International Airport (MCO). The GOAA Board has identified goals to reduce the airport’s dependency on fossil fuels; lower demand on potable water; preserve natural lands; divert landfill waste; build more eco-friendly facilities; and support alternative transportation.

Key areas of concentration in MCO’s approach to airport sustainability are economic viability, operational efficiency, natural resource conservation and social responsibility. With an eye on a greener future, airport goals outline reductions in energy usage, solid waste and water consumption:

  • Reduce Energy Use Intensity (EUI) by 10%
    • 9.9% EUI reduction in 2017
    • Total Energy Saved: 15 million kilowatt hours (kwh)
    • Energy use per passenger: 2.73 kwh (down from 3.76 kwh in 2010)
  • Increase waste diversion from landfill by 50%
    • 23% of solid waste diverted in 2017
    • 2,614 tons of general solid waste
    • 6,000 tons of construction waste
  • Reduce Potable Water Use per Passenger by 10%
    • 23% water use reduction in 2017
    • Water use per passenger: 5.69 gal (down from 7.34 gal in 2010)

Since 2010, passenger traffic at Orlando International Airport has increased by 30%.

MCO Recognized for Achieving LEED® Building Program certifications

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement. LEED® Certified buildings are lowering carbon emissions, creating a healthier environment and reducing operating costs while prioritizing sustainable practices.

The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority was awarded the prestigious LEED® certification for an existing building, another for a new facility and is pursuing certification criteria for current new construction and existing building renovation projects.

The Westfield ARFF Station is a certified LEED® v4 Silver Existing Building and the South Airport Automated People Mover (APM) Complex/Intermodal Terminal Facility (ITF) is LEED® v4 Certified New Construction Complex. Individual accomplishments include:

  • Westfield Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) Station
    • 32% Reduced Energy Cost
    • First Public Order and Safety building in the World to certify LEED v4 O+M
  • South Airport APM/ITF
    • 22% Reduced Energy Cost
    • 36% Reduced Potable Water Use
    • First LEED® v4 New Construction certification in the State of Florida
    • First LEED® v4 New Construction Certified Intermodal Terminal in the World

“In keeping with our Sustainability Management Plan, GOAA is increasing the number of green buildings at MCO, while being environmentally and socially responsible, improving the quality of life for generations to come,” said Phil Brown, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Chief Executive Officer.

Beehives Offer Multiple Advantages to Airport Ecosystem

The airport apiary consists of more than 200 hives, each containing 20,000 to 90,000 bees.The airport apiary consists of more than 200 hives, each containing 20,000 to 90,000 bees.

The airport apiary consists of more than 200 hives, each containing 20,000 to 90,000 bees. The colonies are located away from public access at three separate sites in wooded areas among the airport’s more than 13,000 acres. Under a land-use agreement between the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority and an independent beekeeper, portions of Orlando International Airport have become home to approximately 15 million European Honey Bees.

“Bees are vital to creating and maintaining habitats and ecosystems,” says Judith-Ann Jarrette, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Assistant Director of Operations. “Bees are keeping agriculture locally viable, which is critical for ensuring a safe and accessible food supply and a diverse, more stable economy.”

Bees pollinate many Florida crops, increasing fruit and vegetable quality and yields. European Honey Bees also greatly reduce the potential for feral African Honey Bee colonies. Africanized bees are less desirable for agricultural purposes and are much more aggressive. By providing access to MCO’s wide variety of flowering plants, plant diversity is preserved and other pollinators are allowed to thrive.