Orlando International Airport is a major international airport located 6 mi (9.7 km) southeast of the central business district of Orlando. It is the second-busiest airport in Florida, after Miami International Airport. It is the 13th-busiest airport in the United States and the 29th-busiest airport in the world by passenger traffic.
The airport serves as a focus city for Southwest Airlines and JetBlue Airways. Southwest is currently the airport’s largest carrier in terms of passengers traveled; in 2006, SWA carried one-fifth of MCO’s passenger traffic.
The airport code MCO stands for the airport’s former name, McCoy Air Force Base, a Strategic Air Command (SAC) installation. Because MCO is the largest major airport near Disney World, its code is sometimes jokingly described as “Mickey’s Corporate Office.”
The Greater Orlando area is also served by Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB), and more indirectly by Daytona Beach International Airport (DAB), Melbourne International Airport (MLB), and Tampa International Airport (TPA).
ORLANDO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT HISTORY
The airport began during World War II as Pinecastle Army Airfield, an auxiliary airfield to Orlando Army Air Base, now known as Orlando Executive Airport. At the end of the war, Pinecastle was briefly used for unpowered glide tests of the Bell X-1 from B-29 aircraft before the program moved to Muroc Army Airfield in California — now Edwards AFB — for the world’s first supersonic flight. Briefly placed in caretaker status, the base was reactivated during the Korean War for use as a Strategic Air Command (SAC) facility for B-47 Stratojet and KC-97 Stratotanker aircraft. As an Air Force facility, it was renamed Pinecastle AFB.
In the 1950s, the base began hosting SAC’s annual Bombing and Navigation Competition. A B-47 Stratojet crashed during the 1958 competition, killing Colonel Michael Norman Wright McCoy, commander of the 321st Bombardment Wing. The following year, the base was renamed for McCoy. The base later became home to the 306th Bombardment Wing operating the B-52 Stratofortress and the KC-135 Stratotanker. It was also used by EC-121 Warning Star airborne early warning aircraft.
ORLANDO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT LOCATION
ORLANDO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT FACTS
Elevation: 33 ft.
Runway length available: 17R/35L 10000×150 ft. :: 17L/35R 9000×150 ft. :: 18R/36L 12004×200 ft. :: 18L/36R 12005×200 ft.