Miami International Airport is launching a $5 billion capital improvement program over the next five to 15 years that will help modernize the facility and could allow it to reclaim its title as Florida’s busiest airport.
The Miami airport, which celebrated its 90th anniversary last year, is the nation’s third busiest for international travel after John. F. Kennedy in New York and Los Angeles International, accommodating 21.8 international passengers in 2018. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has been the busiest airport in the world since 1998. Last year, it served 107.3 million travelers.
The phased initiative in Miami will include redeveloping central terminal concourses, renovating gates, adding two hotels and expanding the south terminal and cargo warehouses, according to a statement by the airport. One of the planned hotels will feature a business and conference center with exhibition space. The plan is expected to allow Miami International to serve up to 77 million passengers by 2040.
Airport spokesman Greg Chin did not return a phone call or email for comment. But Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez said in the statement that the airport generates nearly $31 billion in revenue and welcomes 96% of all visitors to the area.
“The goal of this new capital program is for Miami International Airport to provide even greater value, convenience and efficiency to our visitors, airline partners and cargo operators,” Mayor Gimenez said.
Miami International was the 20th largest U.S. airport last year, reaching more than 45 million passengers for the first time, according to figures from Airports Council International, a nonprofit trade group representing the world’s airports. Still, Orlando International surpassed Miami in 2017 and remains Florida’s most active airport, serving 47.6 million passengers in 2018.