MIAMI, FL---With total of $2.5 billion under construction and another $1.3 billion in the design, bid and award phases, Miami International Airport is moving into the most active construction period in the history of its Capital Improvement Program.
More than 38 trade packages valued at $340 million were advertised between March and December in one of the nation’s most ambitious construction programs ever undertaken within an operating airport.
The Airport is also attracting strong interest in its concession program since the airport director has focused attention on improving the profitability and variety of that operation.
The recent trade packages include steel, foundations, curtain walls, baggage handling, aprons, taxi lanes and facility modification trade packages, all part of the massive new South Terminal Program. This $510 million component of the construction program will add one million square feet of terminal and concourse area, including 50,000 square feet of concession space.
The North Terminal Development (NTD) is well underway in construction and contributing significantly to the most active construction period in MIA history with more than $924 million in construction commitments ($464 of which is already in-place) and nearly $400 million to be advertised and awarded by the end of 2003. The $1.5 billion NTD program is expected to reach its first peak of construction spending of $20 million per month by mid-2003.
The Capital Improvement Program (CIP) is expanding and modernizing the MIA Terminal into a more efficient and spacious facility. Both the North and South Terminal development programs will result in airline alliance partners being co-located for easy transfers and less walking time.
Other major projects in construction include the 8,600-foot New North Runway, which will increase airfield capacity by 25 percent; the Central Chiller Plant Expansion to accommodate more than doubling the size of the facilities; the
Midfield Air Rescue and Fire Fighting Facility; the Central Collection Plaza, to modernize and ease the flow in the parking garages; 15 Security Rooms with associated cable and equipment projects; and numerous utilities and drainage packages.
The new FAA Air Traffic Control Tower went into operation last month.
After September 11, airports faced unprecedented challenges of new security, demands, passenger needs, economic vitality and capital development issues.
Aviation Director Angela Gittens, who took the helm of MIA in March 2001, worked with staff to revise MIA’s Capital Improvement Program, analyzing its scope, cost and schedule. The Director’s goal was to match the timing of facility development with the projected demand for facilities and what customers and business partners are willing and able to pay for. The Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners approved the revalidated CIP in March 2002, with the new Phase I affordability limit set at $4.8 billion. That figure is down from $5.4 billion, but future Phase II components of the Program will bring the total to an estimated $7.4 billion beyond 2015.
Major projects in design include the remaining portions of North Terminal Development, Central Terminal Life Safety Improvements, Terminal Wide Refurbishment, Concourse F Renovation, and environmental Engineering Projects. Projects recently advertised include consultants for the Security Operations and Control Center, the general consultant for the South Terminal Development, and consultants for Terminal Security and Airside Security Projects.
“The approved Phase I focuses on the projects that are core to our future,” says Ms. Gittens, “a fourth runway, a redeveloped North Terminal, a new South Terminal, and investment in the infrastructure that supports those facilities (expanded water and electrical capacity, air handling, sewer and telecommunications). In addition, the revised program invests more than $123 million in security infrastructure, more than $300 million in environmental mitigation and improvement, $50 million in noise and safety projects, and more than $200 million to maintain existing infrastructure.”
Airport concession planning takes into consideration new security operational procedures. Both the North and South terminals will include new concessions beyond the security checkpoints to accommodate the new passenger traffic flow resulting from earlier check-in times and therefore more time spent in the gate areas.
With 75 percent of MIA’s revenues directly related to airline and passenger activity, the Director is focusing on diversifying sources of income. Efforts to increase concession revenues include modifying the size of the stores. “Although stores will be smaller, we will have more stores, which will increase revenue and increase small business, minority and women-owned business participation,” says Ms. Gittens. “Our goal is to maximize revenue through the highest and best use of space while creating a more passenger friendly airport environment.”
Since the redevelopment of MIA began more than 10 years ago, more than 123 projects worth more than $1 billion have been completed. MIA now has one million square feet of expanded and/or refurbished terminal space, including a new Concourse A and a rebuilt Concourse H; 12 new cargo buildings, adding more than one million square feet of cargo warehouse space; a new 1,500-space parking garage; a new Air Traffic Control Tower; and more wide body and international gates.
To summarize, the North Terminal mainly includes the new Concourse J (Star Alliance) which is being built from the gound up. 15 gates, all international, all 777 capable (three A380 ready). To be occupied by Star Alliance carriers only. Should be done in 24 months.
A redesigned Concourse H will turn the mainly domestic terminal into a focus operation to be used exclusively by skyTeam carriers at MIA: Delta, Delta Connection (Comair and Chattatuqua), Alitalia, Air France, AeroMexico, and Air France Regional. Should be ready in 24 months.
The all new AA Super Concourse will feature 49 gates plus 30 RJ gates for American, Iberia, and the rest of oneWorld. Construction is also well underway.
In addition, a lot of new retail projects around the current area. In the end, the new MIA will cost $5.4B, more than it cost to build DIA from the ground up. It will be, for the most part, a brand new airport. The only problem they will not be able to solve is the low cieling clearance in baggage claim.