MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Airport officials at Miami International knew they were going to be busy during the Christmas and New Years holidays.

They just didn’t know how busy.

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From December 21st through January 6th, more than 2.1 million travelers passed through the airport – an increase of 3.6 percent over the same period last year.

The surge at MIA exceeded national projections by airline industry trade organization Airlines for America ( and auto group AAA, which predicted a nation-wide increase of two percent and a decrease of 1.4 percent, respectively.

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“It is extremely rewarding to see MIA surpass national projections during the holidays and serve a growing number of visitors to our community. As the top gateway and economic engine for Miami-Dade County, this is fantastic news,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez in a statement.

MIA averaged nearly 126,000 passengers during the 17-day period, far exceeding its typical weekday average of 105,000 and its weekend day average of 113,000. MIA set a new single-day passenger record of 139,941 on December 21, only to break that record two weeks later with 144,192 passengers on January 4.

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The strong holiday travel numbers helped MIA reach a new milestone of 40 million annual passengers on December 27th.