Miami International Airport officials are prepared to spend up to $5 billion on a swanky makeover, according to airport leaders who will reveal extensive renovation and expansion plans later this week. The projected updates will take between 5-15 years to complete in full, with a projected final completion date in 2035.
The biggest projected changes include eliminating one concourse, updating certain gates to accommodate wider-body aircraft and adding two hotels, which will be directly connected to Miami Airport (MIA) itself via the MIA Mover train system as well as the terminals. Other smaller updates will include expansions to cargo operations, roadway additions and a new parking garage and other facility updates.
Miami International Airport is a major hub for American Airlines, and many of the MIA updates will be in response to American’s plans for its Miami fleet moving forward. Since AA plans to retire the Boeing 767, Gates D14-D37 in Miami’s North Terminal will be updated in order to accommodate wider-body aircraft such as the Boeing 777-300, The Next Miami reports.
Meanwhile, AA’s American Eagle regional jet facility in the North Terminal will also undergo upgrades so that the gate can accommodate an increasing number of flights operated by larger regional planes. Right now, those jets cause a lot of congestion at the airport because only a limited number of gates can handle the volume of larger planes. The update is colloquially known as the Gate D60 Project.
The North Terminal frontage will be optimized for narrow-body and wide-body aircraft, which are available in AA’s fleet beyond 2022.
Concourse G will be demolished altogether and the primary focus will turn to Concourses E and F. The check-in hall of the Miami Central Terminal will get a ceiling lift to let in more natural light, while check-in counters will be enhanced with longer check-in lines to match those of the South and North Terminals.
From the rendering below, it looks like Miami is preparing for a lot of foot traffic in the future:
Concourses E and F will share a new, centralized security checkpoint with expanded concession areas and full passenger access to all gates beyond the checkpoint, as well as additional concession space in Concourse F as well as modernized work and relaxation spaces.
MIA’s South Terminal will expand to accommodate three new jumbo aircraft gates, which will include an apron expansion with parking space for an additional three wide-body planes.
The airport renovation plans allocate space for two new hotels, which will be privately developed by winning bidders. Details of the competitive bid process have not yet been released, but both hotels will connect to the MIA Mover train system as well as the terminals. This means these hotels, when complete, will be eligible to compete for a spot on our list of best hotels connected to airports.
The first hotel will be erected in what’s currently the short-term parking deck and former heliport, an area that is smack-dab in front of the MIA Mover station. This hotel will include a business and conference center with space for exhibitions and meetings as well as an auditorium.
The second hotel will be located in front of the North Terminal, just east of the Dolphin Garage, and will also be accessible via MIA Mover.
All renderings courtesy of Miami-Dade Aviation Department.