I made a mistake in my first post where I said FLL
has had more O&D pax than MIA
for at least five years - it should have said domestic O&D passengers.
I've read all of the above comments and offer these comments either in agreement or in rebuttal:
1. While there's all kind of impressive condo development downtown and in the Brickell area, it pales in comparison population-wise to new home construction north of Miami-Dade. The center of population for South Florida will continue to move northward as more people move out of Miami-Dade for more desirable developments in Broward, Palm Beach and Martin counties. As the center of population moves northward it will only result in more growth for FLL
. The latest figures that I've seen, and it's been a while, is that 800,000 to 1,000,000 people have moved out of Miami-Dade for points north of here since 1960. Granted, the majority of them have more than been replaced by immigrants from other countries, along with other people from up north but the exodus of people northward will continue as people reach retirement age and say screw it, let's move to a saner area with a lower cost of living, lower home prices, lower insurance costs, lower medical costs, uncongested roadways, less crime, fewer crooks and drug dealers, etc. I've lived in the Miami area since 1951 and virtually everyone that I grew up with has fled this county many years ago. High school reunions are often held upstate or in other states because virtually everyone who grew up here in the 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's has moved out. Reunions held here in Miami-Dade County suffer attendance problems because people don't want to come back here, even for a short reunion weekend.
2. As pointed out by a post above, the wealth in Palm Beach far outweighs the wealth in Miami. And isn't the City of Miami one of the nation's poorest cities on a per capita basis? I keep reading that in the Miami Herald. And I suppose the wealth on Jupiter Island overwhelms Palm Beach on a per capita basis. But why are we talking about wealth to begin with?
3. Winter tourists from the rest of the USA have long deserted the Miami area for points north of Miami or to the Caribbean islands. Miami used to be the mecca for American snowbirds, with all the big name top entertainers performing at Miami Beach hotels that were filled to capacity every winter season. Hialeah Park used to have the prime winter horse racing dates and it was packed daily every season with big gamblers from up north, who spent fortunes on hotel rooms, rental cars, fine dining, entertainment acts, ladies of the evening, etc. The track is dead now because our domestic tourism dried up. All of those tourists used to fill flights to Miami but for a long time now they've been going to FLL
and the Caribbean. Miami has deservedly developed a bad reputation over the years for surly service, crimes against tourists, high prices for mediocre accommodations, language barriers, traffic congestion and as a result tourists are going elsewhere. While SoBe attracts many affluent club goers, the average John Doe and his wife and kids are going to other places to spend their vacation savings and credit card limits. The numerous tourist attractions in the Orlando area have contributed mightily to this area's dramatic decline in domestic tourist business and there's nothing Miami can do to regain it.
4. I stick by my statement about there being no hope in sight for Miami-Dade's traffic problems. Whoever says that traffic isn't bad doesn't watch the traffic gridlock reports on the local TV
stations every weekday morning, or spend an hour going less than 10 miles to work like I used to. It's absolutely pathetic that our public officials think they can solve traffic gridlock by wasting the recently voter-approved extra half-cent sales tax money on more buses and Metrofail tracks that will only serve a function for a minute fraction of the commuting public. The growth in vehicle traffic will increase many times over the number of cars being removed from the highways by people riding rails to work or the airport. The rail network isn't one iota of benefit to the tens of thousands of western Broward and Northwest Dade residents who commute to central Miami-Dade county for employment, and it surely doesn't reduce the zillions of commercial vans, dump trucks and semi-tractor trailers that clog our roadways on a daily basis. They should have built additional expressways throughout the county as originally planned instead of wasting billions on a rail system that only has 20% (if that much!) of the projected ridership when people voted on the system. As former President Reagan said many years ago, it would have been cheaper to buy everyone in Miami a new Mercedes than build the Metrorail system.
5. Yes, MIA
is the defacto international airport for South Florida - no argument there. But I forgot to mention in my first post that a sizeable percentage of ethnic groups that were exclusively in Miami-Dade county previously are now moving northwards. Weston and other western Broward suburbs have a high percentage of Colombianos and thus service to Colombia from FLL
. Miramar has a sizeable Jamaican community and they prefer to fly from FLL
. Haitian residents are moving to Broward and Palm Beach counties and so on. International service is going to follow the ethnic groups northward and we've seen numerous international flights added at FLL
in the past several years. This international service can not help but increase at FLL
, and maybe someday PBI
, and decrease at MIA
6. In reference to the south runway extension at FLL
, the overall economic benefit to ALL
of Broward County will hopefully outweigh the inconvenience to Dania Beach residents. The Broward County Commission will be voting soon on which runway extension option to pursue. I don't think the issue at hand is if the runway will be extended but how long they will extend it.
7. In addition to all of the above, MIA
is in a bind similar to what happened at JFK
. Not that long ago, at least to me, passengers had to travel thru JFK
to get to Europe with few exceptions, and passengers had to travel thru MIA
to get to Central America, the Caribbean and South America. JFK
developed a horrible reputation with travelers connecting there and MIA
's reputation as a connecting airport isn't so great either judging from published polls answered by travelers as to their favorite airports and what they consider to be the worst airports. Anyhow, European international route authorities were then extended by the CAB and U. S. DOT to other US gateways and JFK
suffered a tremendous drop in traffic from their peak travel years. The same holds true for MIA
in that the former exclusive international markets are now served from a number of US airports north of MIA
, notably ATL
, etc. Even US Airways is diverting Caribbean traffic through CLT
. This significant increased competition from other airports, other airlines, and even American Airlines through their other international gateways, has adversely affected MIA
's international share of the markets served and it will undoubtedly continue to hinder MIA
's growth in the future.
8. To the comment above about South African taking off from FLL
, their flights took off for Atlanta, not South Africa. FLL
used to be a fuel stop only on the northbound leg.