dc8jet
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Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 1:40 pm

Dade-Collier Airport

Tue Jul 13, 2004 9:24 am

Just wondering if Dade-Collier airport outside of Miami is still in operation.As I recall it was never used for much of anything except training flights.
 
Navion
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RE: Dade-Collier Airport

Tue Jul 13, 2004 10:43 am

Yes, it's still open and you are right about there being very little activity.
 
DB777
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RE: Dade-Collier Airport

Tue Jul 13, 2004 1:46 pm

Accord to http://www.airnav.com/airport/TNT they have an average of 40 ops per day which sounds high to me.

The last time I was out there it was busy with a Pan Am 727 doing touch and goes in the 80's.

However, the airport serves other functions on occasion, such as commercial shoots (Honda has been out there several times) because there's nothing in the background, and for government agency exercises at night.
Photographing aircraft since the Earth was flat and on Airliners.net since #338
 
miamix707
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RE: Dade-Collier Airport

Tue Jul 13, 2004 2:03 pm

On the flight tracker earlier this year showed the Express.net 727 on some days landing and then going back to FLL a couple of hours later.

I read somewhere the airport was originally built to accomodate a supersonic transport, (I imagine the Boeing SST) far away in the middle of nowhere so the noise woudln't be a problem. Did they really need to build it that far away??
 
DB777
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RE: Dade-Collier Airport

Tue Jul 13, 2004 2:48 pm

I don't know about the supersonic transport stuff but Concorde served MIA three times a week for about 6 years and we never had a noise complaint, unlike other urban areas of the US that raised holy hell about it coming once in a while on charter flights. TNT was built as a reliever airport in the late 60's for training purposes but the county had intentions of expanding it so it could ultimately serve as a complete replacement airport for MIA. However, the environmentalists raised holy hell as they should have, and the federal government told the county to forget it and find another site. The county wasted numerous years picking other sites in what was then rural areas only to get shot down time and time again. They should have land-banked all the land west of MIA out to the Palmetto Expressway because there were only a few buildings out there in the early 70's and it could have been bought cheaply. They did manage to extend 9R-27L (now 9-27) to 13,002 feet in the early 80's but they had to reroute a major roadway and railroad tracks to do it.

TNT was heavily used in the 70's and 80's by Eastern, National, Braniff, Pan Am and others for pilot training. However, the cost of jet fuel and development of flight simulators caused a significant decrease in training flights.

About 90% of the airport's land actually lies in Collier County but Miami-Dade owns and operates the airport. All of the employees live in Collier County. It used to have it's own auxiliary airport manager until the mid-70's when it was put under the manager of Homestead General who had to drive out there once or twice a week. Sometime in the 90's it was put under the Kendall-Tamiami manager's responsibility since TMB is closer.

I've heard tales from guys who worked out there in the 70's about going flying on some of the 727's doing touch and goes and full stop landings there. The flight crews would radio them sometimes and ask if they wanted to go up and sometimes they did. The aircraft would stop on the taxiway, drop the rear stairs and the TNT employee would clamber up the stairs, the flight engineer would open the rear door, and they would do a few touch and goes and then drop the employee off. One of the fringes for working in the middle of the 'Glades?

There was an Eastern DC9 that impacted the ground near the airport while pilot training but I can't remember the details except that the aircraft was written off.

The county makes revenue from training flight permits, commercial shoots, and charges assessed to swamp buggy owners who keep their buggies stored on airport property. There is allegedly some sort of agreement that they will provide assistance in the event of a disaster like Eastern L1011's crash.

Photographing aircraft since the Earth was flat and on Airliners.net since #338
 
infiniti757
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RE: Dade-Collier Airport

Tue Jul 13, 2004 2:50 pm

When I worked at Tamiami we used the airport for practice approaches. I believe that you need to have permission to actually land there, (because of some type of fee??). The history that I heard is that Pan used the airport as a place to train pilots. I have heard Planet Airways, PanAm and Atlas out there in the past.
Give me the luxuries in life and I will gladly do without the necessities. (Frank Lloyd Wright)
 
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zippyjet
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RE: Dade-Collier Airport

Tue Jul 13, 2004 7:42 pm

Is this the same airport that was located in the Big Cypress Swamp?
The one that was planned to become the largest airport in the world back in the early 70's? Billed as the JetPort?  Confused
I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
 
DB777
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RE: Dade-Collier Airport

Wed Jul 14, 2004 2:21 am

It's in the Big Cypress National Preserve on the eastern side of it. I seem to recall the Jetport moniker that was attached to it at the time. I hate to think of the millions that were spent for planning and design at that site and a couple of other sites that were supposed to replace it.
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PennPal
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RE: Dade-Collier Airport

Wed Jul 14, 2004 5:54 am

Back when the airport was being built, I remember seeing a gas station just east of it on Route 41 (Tamiami Trail) that had a Constellation on its roof. I think the owner was going to convert the building into an aviation-related restaurant. If I'm not mistaken, the property is now the Everglades Visitor's Center.
 
miamix707
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RE: Dade-Collier Airport

Wed Jul 14, 2004 6:29 pm

ok I found where I read the airport was originally built for the Boeing SST

This website is full of interesting information about this and other little known airfields (scroll down towards the bottom of the page to see Dade-Collier TNT)

http://www.members.tripod.com/airfields_freeman/FL/Airfields_FL_Miami_N.htm

Dade Collier Training & Transition Airport (TNT), Everglades, FL

"This huge, nearly abandoned modern airport is a true "white elephant".

It intended to provide service for the Miami area by the never-built US supersonic transport,

and was thus situated far outside of the populated area, in the everglades,

to mitigate the noise impact of SST operations"


 
dc8jet
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RE: Dade-Collier Airport

Thu Jul 15, 2004 8:48 am

Thnks very much for the info. It seems a waste to keep it open.
 
DB777
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RE: Dade-Collier Airport

Thu Jul 15, 2004 1:35 pm

I disagree on it being a waste to keep it open. Here's why:

1. It has a bare-bones minimum staff to keep labor costs down.

2. The county makes revenue from flight training permits that are issued.

3. It keeps some training flights away from other South Florida airports, making it safer for everyone else up in the sky and some of us on the ground near airports.

4. The county makes revenue from companies making commercials out there.

5. It gives state and federal agencies a great location for training exercises, especially commando raids at night.

6. It's in a good location in the event an emergency landing is needed between the east and west coasts of Florida.

Don
Photographing aircraft since the Earth was flat and on Airliners.net since #338
 
miamix707
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RE: Dade-Collier Airport

Thu Jul 15, 2004 6:39 pm

Don, since you are also a photographer do you or anyone you know have seen any interesting aircraft parked there at all recently?
 
DB777
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RE: Dade-Collier Airport

Fri Jul 16, 2004 1:36 am

I haven't been out there since the mid-80's but seeing a parked aircraft at TNT would really be rare from what I know of the airport. Virtually all aircraft using TNT are only doing pilot training and I've never heard of one staying for a while though I suppose it could happen if they had a mechanical. They have a phone number you can call for information but I can't locate it or the phone book right now. It's weird that the MIA website doesn't have any information on the airport. You can also write the airport manager for TMB and TNT at mhandrahan@miami-airport.com - his name is Mike Handrahan and he's an aviation buff from way back.

Don
Photographing aircraft since the Earth was flat and on Airliners.net since #338

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