Construction work is underway on an $800 million runway expansion at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
The project – which was initiated by US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and acting Federal Aviation Administrator Michael Huerta on Monday (January 23) – will extend, shift and lengthen the gateway’s Runway 9R/27L from 5,276 feet to 8,000 feet.
The expansion will give the airport two parallel runways that can accommodate not only cargo flights, but also increase capacity at the gateway from 84 flights per hour to 107.
The airport added that without the runway expansion, delays could reach more than ten minutes per flight.
Secretary LaHood said: “This is one of the largest and most important airport construction projects in the country right now.
“Modernising our airport infrastructure will keep our economy moving forward, and put thousands of Americans back to work.”
When construction on the project hits a peak next year, it is expected to contribute more than $1 million per day to the local economy, according to Broward County.
It will also generate thousands of direct and indirect jobs by the time the runway opens in the autumn 2014.
The FAA has issued a Letter of Intent to provide $250 million in Airport Improvement Program funding over 12 years for the project.
Acting Administrator at the FAA, Michael Huerta, said: “Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is one of the fastest-growing airports in the country.
“The expanded runway will provide additional airport capacity and will help reduce flight delays.”
More than 22 million passengers fly through Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport annually, and more than 600 flights fly in and out of the gateway to more than 60 domestic and international destinations on a daily basis.