Authorities at Miami International Airport (MIA) have given the green light to a multi-billion dollar package of capital improvements. The Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners adopted the new investment programme which is due to fund up to $5bn of modernisation projects across the airport complex.
The works are scheduled to take place over the next five to 15 years and are designed to help future-proof the facility for growth in both passenger and cargo traffic. In 2018, MIA surpassed 45 million annual passengers for the first time – an increase of nearly one million on the previous year. According to estimates provided by the airport, MIA is projected to see 77 million travellers and more than four million tons (3.6 tonnes) of freight by 2040.
County mayor Carlos A Gimenez remarked: “MIA is Miami-Dade County’s leading economic engine and busiest gateway, generating nearly $31 billion in business revenue and welcoming 96 percent of all visitors to our community. The goal of this new capital program is for MIA to provide even greater value, convenience and efficiency to our visitors, airline partners and cargo operators.”
Planners say the comprehensive overhaul will address capacity and operational needs through five sub-programmes:
- A redevelopment of central terminal concourses E and F
- An expanded south terminal (concourses H and J);
- Renovated concourse D gates to accommodate additional wide- and narrow-body aircraft, as well as larger regional jets;
- Two new hotels (one which will feature a conference centre with exhibition space) and other associated landside projects
- Expanded aircraft parking positions and warehouses for cargo operations.
Lester Sola, MIA director and CEO added: “I appreciate the support and leadership of Mayor Gimenez, Chairwoman Audrey Edmonson, and the Board of County Commissioners, as we turn the page to this next chapter in the transformation of MIA.”
With more than 100 air carriers, MIA is currently the third-busiest airport in the US for international passengers by many metrics. While MIA is notable for offering more flights to Latin America and the Caribbean than any other US airport, it has also been expanding its footprint deeper into Africa and Europe. Big names including LOT Polish Airlines, Royal Air Maroc and Ethiopian Airlines have all announced new or increased services to the Florida facility in recent months.
The complex is also a powerful cargo hub and ranks among the most important in the country for international freight, setting a new record of 2.3 million total tons of freight in 2018 – up 60,000 tons from the 2017 figure.