MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Big changes will be coming to Miami International Airport over the next decade or so to meet the demands of the future.
On Tuesday, the Miami-Dade commission approved a capital improvement plan for the airport which would fund up to $5 billion in modernization projects over the next five to 15 years.READ MORE: State Argues Judge Should Reject COVID-19 Records Case
The changes are needed as MIA is projected to reach 77 million travelers and more than four million tons of freight by the year 2040.
“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,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “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.”READ MORE: Ring Doorbell Camera Appears To Show Elderly Woman Threatening Neighbor With Knife
The comprehensive program is designed to address all of the airport’s future capacity and operational needs through five sub-programs that include: 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 include a business and conference center with exhibition space) and other miscellaneous landside projects; and expanded aircraft parking positions and warehouses for cargo operations.
“Because of the program’s phased structure, we look forward to delivering to our passengers and business partners new and improved airport facilities,” said Lester Sola, MIA Director and CEO.
The multi-billion-dollar program is the latest in a string of historic milestones for MIA, which celebrated its 90th anniversary last September.MORE NEWS: Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa Placed On Injured Reserve
In 2018, MIA surpassed 45 million annual passengers for the first time ever – an increase of nearly one million over the previous year. The gateway of the Americas served 21.8 international passengers in 2018 – making it once again the busiest airport in Florida for international travelers and third-busiest U.S. gateway in that category. MIA continues to maintain its ranking as the busiest U.S. airport for international freight as well, setting a new record of 2.3 million total tons of freight in 2018 – up 60,000 tons from its 2017 total.