LaHood, Huerta Attend Ground Breaking for New Runway at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Acting Federal Aviation Administrator Michael Huerta were on hand last week to help break ground in a ceremony hosted by the Broward County Aviation Department for a $791 million runway expansion at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

Secretary LaHood said that this was one of the largest and most important airport construction projects in the country right now and that modernizing the airport infrastructure will keep the economy moving forward, putting thousands of Americans back to work.

The project is expected to 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. Also associated with the south runway project was the recently completed pilot phase of a $170 million noise mitigation program.

Huerta said that Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is one of the fastest-growing airports in the country and that the expanded runway will provide additional airport capacity that will help reduce flight delays.

Airport capacity will increase due to the project which will extend, shift and lengthen Runway 9R/27L from 5,276 feet to 8,000 feet. This will give the airport two parallel runways that can be used for air carrier flights. Construction will begin this month on the expansion project, which will increase the airport’s capacity from 84 flights per hour to 107.

A Letter of Intent has been issued by the FAA 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.