Miami International Airport (IATA: MIA, ICAO: KMIA), is the primary airport serving the South Florida area. The airport is located eight miles (13 km) northwest of Downtown Miami. It is situated between the cities of Miami, Hialeah, Doral, Miami Springs, the village of Virginia Gardens, and the unincorporated community of Fontainebleau.
The airport is a hub for numerous passenger airlines such as American Airlines, Executive Airlines under the American Eagle name, Gulfstream International Airlines under the Continental Connection name; cargo airlines Arrow Air, UPS Airlines and FedEx Express; and charter airline Miami Air. Miami International Airport handles passenger and cargo flights to cities throughout the Americas and Europe, as well as the Canary Islands off the African coast, and cargo flights to Asia; it is South Florida's main airport for long-haul international flights.
Miami International Airport is the largest gateway between the United States and Latin America, and is one of the largest aerial hubs in the United States, owing to its proximity to tourist attractions, local economic growth, large local Latin American and European populations, and strategic location to handle connecting traffic between North America, Latin America, and Europe. In the past, it has been a hub for Braniff International Airways, Eastern Air Lines, Air Florida, the original National Airlines, the original Pan Am, United Airlines, and Iberia.
In 2009, the airport ranked first in the United States by percentage of international flights and second by volume of international passengers, behind only New York-JFK. In 2009, 33,886,025 passengers traveled through the airport, making the airport the 25th busiest airport in the world by passenger traffic. The Airport also ranks as the 12th busiest airport in the United States by annual passenger throughput and is the largest airport in the state of Florida, surpassing Orlando by a small margin. The airport also handled more international cargo than any other airport in the United States
Miami International Airport covers an area of 3,300 acres (1,335 ha) which contains four runways. Runway 8L/26R: 8,600 x 150 ft (2,621 x 46 m), runway 8R/26L: 10,506 x 200 ft (3,202 x 61 m), runway 9/27: 13,000 x 150 ft (3,962 x 46 m) and runway 12/30: 9,354 x 150 ft (2,851 x 46 m).
The main terminal at MIA dates back to 1959, with several new additions. Semicircular in shape, the terminal has eight pier-shaped concourses, lettered counter-clockwise from A to J (B and C were demolished in 2005 and 2009, respectively; Letter I was skipped to avoid confusion with the number 1). From the terminal's opening until the mid-1970s, the concourses were originally numbered clockwise from 1 to 6. (See map…..)
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St. Lucie County International Airport (IATA: FPR, ICAO: KFPR) is a public airport located three miles (5 km) northwest of the central business district of Fort Pierce, a city in St. Lucie County, Florida, United States. It is owned by the St. Lucie Board of County Commissioners.
The airport sees frequent use by various aviation flight schools in south Florida, including three based at the airport, for general aviation flight training traffic. The airport also hosts a Federal Inspection Station (FIS) administered by United States Customs & Border Patrol, which makes it a frequent stop for private aircraft coming in and out of the Bahamas Islands.
That history of the airport dates back to 1921 when The Commercial Club of Fort Pierce built an airport where the local American Legion building now stands on U.S. Route 1 for an airline that never got off the ground. Nine years later, the county purchased 1,600 acres of land that eventually became the current airport; however the first commercial airport was dedicated in 1935 in an area in the vicinity of U.S. Route 1 and Edwards Road. The current airport, originally named Fort Pierce Airport, was leased during World War II by the U.S. Navy as an auxiliary field for pilots and flight crews from Naval Air Station Vero Beach, Naval Air Station Melbourne and Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale for conducting daytime and night-time field carrier landing practice (FCLP) prior to landing on actual aircraft carriers. Scout aircraft, dive bombers and torpedo attack bombers utilized the runways, which were redesigned by the military to better accommodate naval aviation training requirements. In 1947, the Navy disestablished operations and the U.S. Government conveyed the airport back to the county, to include two newly constructed runways.
With little financial capital in county government to operate and maintain a modern airport, the facility languished for the next ten years, becoming overgrown with vegetation and subject to frequent grazing by cattle from nearby farms and ranches. During the 1960s and 1970s, major improvements took off with the construction of an airport terminal, modern hangars, airfield lighting, navigational aids and fuel facilities. Curtis King, who became the first full-time director in 1967, played an instrumental role in the development of the county's airport for 31 years.
The airport continued to evolve as a general aviation facility, and even though two of four runways were decommissioned, one such former runway became the site of the Airport West Commerce Park, while Runway 9/27 was lengthened and improved. Runway 10L-28R was completed early 2010 costing $15.3 million dollars; the runway currently has no taxiways to parking therefore making it designated for touch and go operations.
FPR is also home to Mirabella Aviation Inc. located at 2946 Curtis King Blvd. According to their website www.mirabellaaviation.com they provide maintenance & restoration on the full line of Grumman Seaplane models such as the HU-16 Albatross. They also provide charter services with single Grumman G-111 Albatross (civil model). Additionally the also provide flight training. During my visit (June 2010) the hanger doors were closed and not much was happening.
Next to Mirabella were the main hanger and office complex of Missionary Flights International, it was the main reason why I visited this airport. Currently MFI operates 3 Douglas DC-3s. During my visit DC-3 N300MF was inside for a annual inspection and almost ready to fly. Outside DC-3 N400MF had just come back with a technical snag on its tail wheel. Passengers and cargo where being transferred to sistership N200MF (DC-3T), for the afternoon flight to the Bahamas.
For more info see: "http://www.missionaryflights.org<
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