Miami is just as big a cruise port, but that hasn't helped it out lately. The cruise port plays a part of it, but it is not the big picture. There are various reasons to thank for Fort Lauderdale's growth:
1) Low landing fees.
2) A huge O&D market.
3) Not as low-yielding as the rest of Florida; decent business traffic (even though the majority of business traffic still goes through MIA
4) The airport was pretty uncongested until lately.
5) Airlines are finally realzing how untapped the domestic market from South Florida is. It has largely been ignore in the past.
6) They don't have to worry as much about AA
, who protects MIA
7) The messy, construction hell that is MIA
. Since they are essentially building a brand-new airport on top of an old one, while the old one still operates, it is a logistical nightmare.
The new service at FLL
is great, simply incredible. However, FLL
has a very problematic future if expansion plans do not go ahead. And, so far, they have been unable to get a new runway plan approved. And, there is very little gate space as is. American, jetBlue, and US Airways are calmouring for more gates, but there are none to give.
The funny thing is that, as things are going, in four years, MIA
will be the easier to use airport, while FLL
will be a congested nightmare. Though FLL
's cheaper fees will keep FLL
the local LCC airport of choice and continue to spark its growth. MIA
will be restricted to the regular network carriers, and AA
and international carriers will be the driving factor behind future growth.