Business Florida 2022 - The Regions
Broward • Indian River • Martin • Miami-Dade • Monroe • Palm Beach • St. Lucie
The pandemic took a toll on airport activity across this region too. In 2020, Miami International Airport handled a record 2.32 million total tons of freight, but just 18.7 million passengers compared to 2019’s 46 million. Nevertheless, among U.S. airports, MIA retained its No. 1 position for international freight and in 2021 moved up from third to second for number of international passengers served. A $5-billion upgrade of the airport that was rolled out in March 2020 continues in anticipation of MIA’s growth in passenger and cargo traffic over the next five to 15 years, to reach 77 million travelers and 4 million tons of freight by 2040.
And one more milestone to note: In September 2021, MIA became the first U.S. airport to test COVID-19 detector dogs that can sniff out the metabolic changes caused by COVID-19 that are common for all people regardless of their individual scents.
Elsewhere in this region, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport served 16.49 million passengers in 2020, a 55.1% decrease compared to pre-pandemic 2019, and at 3.12 million, international traffic was down by 64.7%. The good news, however, is that with 16,212,260 passengers as of July 2021, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood appears well positioned to handily overtake last year’s dismal year-end total. Likewise at Palm Beach International Airport, which on the heels of a record breaking 6,920,858 passengers in 2019, logged just 3,460,429 passengers last year. However, as of July 2021, with 2,856,892 passengers to date, Palm Beach is on track to easily surpass its 2020 total.
In other airline news:
• After breaking ground in Dania Beach in January 2020, South Florida-based Spirit Airlines continues to work toward a 2022 opening at its new, state-of-the-art headquarters. The $250-million, 500,000-sq.-ft. facility, located just minutes away from Spirit’s largest operating base at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, is expected to create an additional 225 jobs.
• Monroe County officials are moving forward with a planned upgrade of concourse A at Key West International Airport. The project, which includes additional seating and baggage claim conveyors, will begin by early 2023, with completion expected by the end of 2024.
KEY PLAYERS: Amazon, Seattle, Wa.; FedEx Latin America, Miami; Norwegian Cruise Line, Miami; Royal Caribbean International, Miami; Ryder Integrated Logistics, Miami; Spirit Airlines, Miramar