For signs of economic growth in Miami, look no further than Miami International Airport, or as Miamians call it, “MIA.” In the past couple of years, MIA has experienced incredible growth. It is recognized as the number one international gateway for the growing U.S. trade with Latin America and the Caribbean. It provides direct passenger service to 148 destinations around the world, and receives more international flights than any other airport in the U.S. Last year, MIA was ranked as the second most visited city by international visitors as it reached the 40 million passenger mark for the first time in the airport’s 85-year history, and set a new record for annual passengers for the fourth year in a row. Half of the 40 million were international passengers.
The latest evidence of this continued growth is its largest airline carrier’s need for more gate space. MIA officials’ plan to spend $65 million to modernize Concourse E to accommodate American Airlines’ need for urgent gate space as American Airlines adds more flights and makes changes to its flight schedule, increasing the frequency of its flights during peak times.
Other evidence of its growth is the addition earlier this year of new service to Brussels, Belgium and four weekly nonstop flights to MIA from Doha, Qatar, one of the top hubs in the Middle East. According to MIA officials, the new service is projected to have an economic impact of 536 total jobs and $78.3 million in business revenue within Miami-Dade County. In addition, Miami-Dade County recently authorized CLEAR, a provider of expedited passenger screening services using biometrics, to operate at MIA. MIA joins progressive airports around the country by improving the passenger experience while increasing air traffic.
This growth can only help boost Miami’s economy which has greatly benefitted from MIA’s financial impact on local tourism, cruise operations, international banking, trade and commerce. As MIA grows and regenerates itself, Miami stands to reap the benefits.