How Miami International Airport is expanding to better serve the city
Emilio Gonzalez Director & CEO – Miami-Dade Aviation Department
How will the increased investment in infrastructure lead to sustainable development of the economy?
Each daily international passenger fight at Miami International Airport (MIA) generates $33 million annually in business revenue, making international air service one of the biggest drivers of economic development locally and one of our community’s greatest assets. Our infrastructure improvements are focused squarely on international air service expansion. On the heels of successful north and south terminal redevelopment projects, the Miami-Dade Aviation Department (MDAD) is continuing to renovate MIA’s central terminal six of the Concourse E-Satellite’s nine gate areas and its second and third foor lobbies were upgraded and re-opened in 2016. MIA’s Terminal Optimization Program is a 10-year capital improvement plan for MIA’s Central Terminal, which began in 2015. Phase I of the TOP includes pre-construction work that began in 2016 to completely replace the baggage screening systems in MIA’s south and central terminals. The project, partially funded by a $101-million grant from the Transportation Security Administration, will double the systems’ current screening speed by installing the latest in Explosives Detection Screening (EDS) technology. MIA is also partnering with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to renovate and re-open the Concourse E international arrivals facility by the summer of 2017. In another innovative approach by MIA, the redesigned facility will be one of the frst in the country to screen passengers primarily via self-service technologies such as Global Entry, Automated Passport Control kiosks, and the Mobile Passport Control app.
What is your strategy to continue expanding into new markets for both passengers and cargo?
MIA is continuing its reinvention from being the Gateway of the Americas to a truly global gateway. Three of 2016’s new carriers are European-based, and two more European airlines have announced Miami launches in 2017. MDAD fortified its existing global business ties and established new ones in 2016 by investing in mission trips to strategic locations around the world. MDAD representatives traveled to Dublin, Ireland in June to participate in the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit, the world’s largest gathering of airline leaders. MIA was one of only a handful of airports in the world invited to attend the event, which drew more than 1,000 delegates. During the three-day gathering, I led an MIA team that met with high-level executives.