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Miami's airport juggles its role as the US' primary passenger and cargo gateway to Latin America

Discussion in 'Airport News, Talk & Discussion' started by vegli, Feb 17, 2016.

  1. vegli

    vegli Hangar Gold Member I

    Oct 12, 2012
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    United States United States
    Miami is a major business and leisure city that doubles as the US' primary gateway to and from Central and South America. As a consequence its airport also acts as a hub connecting those regions with other parts of the US and Europe. It has a large and growing annual passenger throughput but its main strength is in air cargo, where it is also the principal US-Latin American gateway.

    But Miami International Airport does not have things all its own way. There is pressure in both the O&D and hub business segments from nearby airports such as Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood and from giant hubs further afield such as Atlanta and Charlotte Douglas. Additionally, developers hope to open a new commercial airport nearby to challenge Miami in the handling of perishable cargo.

    This report looks at present and future growth trends at the airport, local airport statistics, how it matches up to competing airports across a range of metrics, at any construction activities and at its ownership.

    Miami’s appeal embraces finance, commerce, the arts and entertainment
    Internationally, Miami is the best known city in Florida, though it is not the biggest in its own right. The main entry point for renowned vacation destinations such Palm Beach and the Florida Keys, it is both a tourist hotspot in its own right and a dynamic commercial centre in the fields of finance, trade and commerce. In 2010, Miami ranked seventh in the United States in terms of finance, commerce, culture, entertainment, fashion, education, and other sectors and ranked thirty-third among global cities. A UBS study of 73 world cities in 2009 identified Miami as the richest city in the United States and the world’s fifth richest city in terms of purchasing power.

    Miami is classified as an Alpha Word City (the second highest ranking) in the World Cities Study Group’s rankings: one that is ‘generally considered to be an important node in the global economic system.’

    It is rated particularly highly for culture, media, the arts and entertainment. In the case of entertainment, partly thanks to television series such as 'Miami Vice' and 'CSI: Miami' and films varying from James Bond ('Goldfinger', 'Thunderball') and Schwarzenegger’s 'True Lies', to comedies such as 'Bad Boys', 'Meet the Fockers', 'Ace Ventura' and 'There’s Something about Mary', all of which were set there. Moreover, the city is renowned as the home of the world’s largest art exhibition, Art Basel Miami, which attracts thousands of international visitors.

    The city is known as the Capital of Latin America
    The city is known as the Capital of Latin America, having the second largest Spanish speaking population in the country and the largest congregation of Cuban Americans. Most of them are located in the separate metropolitan area city of Hialeah, to the west of downtown Miami and the location of Tom Wolfe’s 2012 novel 'Back to Blood', which also ‘blew the lid off’ Miami’s art world.

    With such an assortment and congregation of economic and cultural activities Miami requires an airport that is attuned to the often contradictory needs of local, North American, Caribbean, Latin American and global users. After all, it is not only the alternative ‘capital’ of Latin America, it is also one of the premier gateways linking the eastern side of the US, Canada, Europe and Asia to that continent. That role is likely to intensify as and if relations between the US and Cuba continue to improve, paving the way for much greater demand for flights to that country.

    Moreover, the demands of its diverse users have to be weighed against competition that comes not only from nearby airports such as Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood but also from large hubs to the north.

    MIA competes with local O&D and national hub airports
    The table below compares Miami International Airport (hereinafter ‘MIA’) with peer and neighbouring airports in Florida and the south eastern US, both O&D and hub airports, using a variety of metrics that include aviation and population statistics. (N.B. population figures in this instance are for metropolitan areas not cities. For example, the population of the city of Atlanta numbers only slightly more than 400,000 people, while the wider metropolitan area’s population is 5.5 million).


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