Brevard Veteran Led $3B Airport Terminal Expansion
EverythingBrevard.com
Search
Share This Page
Small Bridge in FIT Gardens

Brevard Veteran Led $3B Airport Terminal Expansion

Brevard Veteran Led $3B Airport Terminal Expansion

It seems fitting Davin Ruohomaki made a name for himself in the aviation industry. He’s always had a passion for planes.

“When I was growing up in Southern California, my grandfather used to take me to LAX airport to watch the planes takeoff,” Ruohomaki said. “Later, when I was in the military, I would go to Air Force bases and watch all the jets. I’ve just had a fascination with aviation since I was a kid.”

Ruohomaki’s upbringing and past experiences made him uniquely qualified for his most recent role, heading up the latest expansion of Orlando International Airport (OIA, also known by code MCO).

“I was trained by the military. I grew up in a military family and later was an officer in the Army,” Ruohomaki said. “When I came out of the military, I went to work for Disney and was “pixie dusted” by the mouse.  

He then earned an EMBA (executive MBA) at University of Central Florida and became even more well-rounded. 

“I combine all those things with my can-do attitude. I navigate every possible situation and figure it out, adapt, overcome. But no matter what, you always accomplish that mission. That is my mindset for everything.”

OIA Expansion

Should you find yourself visiting Orlando International Airport during your travels, you’ll feel the impact of Ruohomaki. His mission for the past seven years was to ensure your time at the airport is as pleasant and stress-free as possible. 

As senior director for engineering and construction for the Greater Orlando Airport Authority, Ruohomaki headed up a team of thousands who worked on the $3 billion new terminal project at OIA. The newly opened Terminal C provides an improved passenger experience for those traveling through the world’s seventh busiest airport.

Here, technology and innovation meet functionality. The architecture gives the terminal that “wow factor,” but the design also takes into account what customers really want while waiting for a flight — speed, ease, and amenities. 

The new terminal includes 15 new gates, designed to accommodate 10 to 12 million passengers each year. Automated TSA checkpoints promise to screen 2,000 passengers an hour. The terminal will also host 34 concessions, most beyond screening checkpoints to help guests best budget their time before boarding. 

It is estimated the 10 airlines that utilize Terminal C will have an annual economic impact to Central Florida of over $5.6 billion. Eventually the terminal will be the connecting point for passengers riding the new high speed rail line connecting Orlando to South Florida. 

Taking on a huge project like this in the midst of a global pandemic was challenging, but Ruohomaki knew travelers would be back and the airport would be busier than ever. 

“I am most proud of the fact that I took a team, kept going through COVID, got through worker shortages and supply chain issues and still finished on time and within budget,” Ruohomaki said. 

In The Family

Ruohomaki moved to Brevard County to be with his wife, Sherry. The two met as students in the executive masters of business administration program at UCF. Ruohomaki was based in Washington DC at the time. He was working at the Pentagon on 9/11, then later worked on the reconstruction program to repair the building. In 2002, the couple decided to make Central Florida their home base. 

Today the couple own three businesses together, Melbourne doggie daycare and boarding favorite K9 Kampus, Facets Consulting Group, and DDR construction. The couple has strong systems in place to keep their professional and home lives running smoothly.

“First, we have determined the tasks that we prefer or excel in for each company, so staying in our lane is a strategy that works well for us,” Sherry said. “Second, we always have each other’s back, whenever the other needs assistance we are there. Third, family always has to be a priority. It is important that we don’t miss a moment of our 15-year-old daughter’s busy academic and athletic life. 

“We do everything together as a family and do our best not to have any of our work responsibilities get in the way of our family life.”

When he isn’t working, Ruohomaki enjoys a quieter life at home in Grant. He and Sherry, along with their daughter, Bella, are avid boaters who love spending family time out on the water. Ruohomaki is a classic car enthusiast, as well. Fixing up his hot rods was a pandemic project for Ruohomaki and he plans to show them in the near future. 

Next Chapter

The completion of the long-term terminal project seemed a natural time for Ruohomaki to transition to his next challenge. In October, Ruohomaki started a new position as WSP Global’s vice president deputy aviation national business line leader for the U.S. He will continue to use his expertise to design, manage, and advise airports across the country.

“With my experience and background, I know exactly how to help airports navigate the Federal Aviation Administration, the TSA, Customs and Border, Homeland Security,” Ruohomaki said. “I know all those rules and regulations.”

Ruohomaki is excited for what the future holds and looks forward to passing on the wisdom he has gained from his experience. 

“At this stage of my career, I am most looking forward to taking everything I have learned, all the hard knocks, and paying it forward,” Ruohomaki said. “I am excited to be a mentor and leader and trainer for the younger generation.”

 

Terminal C at OIA by the Numbers

10: airlines utilizing the terminal

15: new gates

20: number of aircraft those gates can support

34: concessions

1,000: Digital screens 

2,000: number of passengers the automated TSA checkpoints promise to screen each hour

10-12 million: annual passengers the terminal is designed to accommodate

$3 billion: cost of Terminal C project

$5.6 billion: annual economic impact to Central Florida 

Learn More

orlandoairports.net 

Terminal C hosts mostly international carriers, plus Jet Blue as the only domestic.

Comments:

« Back

Florida Native Roofing Geico Local Office EverythingBrevard.com L.H. Tanner Construction