U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Acting Federal Aviation Administrator Michael Huerta helped break ground today for a $791 million runway expansion at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport which will create thousands of jobs.
"This is one of the largest and most important airport construction projects in the country right now," said Secretary LaHood. "Modernizing our airport infrastructure will keep our economy moving forward, and put thousands of Americans back to work."
When construction activity peaks next year, the project will contribute more than $1 million per day to the local economy, according to Broward County. It will generate thousands of direct and indirect jobs by the time the runway opens in fall 2014.
"Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is one of the fastest-growing airports in the country," said Acting Administrator Huerta. "The expanded runway will provide additional airport capacity and will help reduce flight delays."
The project will extend, shift and lengthen Runway 9R/27L from 5,276 feet to 8,000 feet, giving the airport two parallel runways that can accommodate air carrier flights. Parallel runways can increase airport capacity dramatically, and this expansion will increase the airport's capacity from 84 flights per hour to 107. Without the runway expansion, delays could reach more than ten minutes per flight.
The FAA has issued a Letter of Intent to provide $250 million in Airport Improvement Program funding over 12 years for the project. More than 22 million passengers fly through Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport annually, ranking it 22nd in total passenger traffic in the United States. More than 600 flights fly in and out of the airport daily to more than 60 U.S. cities and international destinations in Canada,
the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Mexico, Latin American, and Europe.