FYI Miami: August 12, 2021
Below are some of the FYIs in this week’s edition. The entire content of this week’s FYIs and Insider sections is available by subscription only. To subscribe click here.
SCHOOL FUNDING OK: Miami-Dade County commissioners have amended an agreement with the Florida Development Finance Corporation and the county, a vote that allows the authority to proceed with $170 million in bonded funding for the Mater Academy Foundation for use in Miami-Dade. The nonprofit foundation, which was established in 2008 to support charter schools operated by Mater Academy Inc., went to the development finance corporation in 2019 to seek bonding that would benefit eight Mater schools in Miami-Dade and two in Osceola County, for a total cost of $200 million. The largest single expenditure of the group would be $35 million to construct and equip a building for Brickell Mater Academy on the west side of the intersection of Southwest 17th Street and Southwest Second Court. The next-largest Miami-Dade project would be $21 million to refinance an existing mortgage and build and equip a new academy building at 22025 SW 87th Avenue in Cutler Bay. The county has no obligation to repay any of the bonds.
MORE FREIGHT FLYING: Freight carried into and out of Miami International Airport rose 12.5% in June from June 2020 as international cargo began a comeback from the pandemic. Total short tons carried topped 206,000 in June versus over 183,000 in June 2020, according to figures from the Miami-Dade Aviation Department. The vast majority of the tonnage – and the vast majority of the gain – was in international freight. International freight arriving at MIA totaled almost 102,000 short tons in June, up from 85,000 in June 2020. Planes leaving MIA carried more than 67,000 tons to international destinations, up from 62,000 in June 2020. Domestic tonnage was far smaller: 21,000 tons arriving versus 16,000 departing.
SHORT VIEW VS. LONG VIEW: Year over year passenger gains at Miami International Airport in June were nothing short of spectacular, statistically: total passenger traffic was up 458% from June 2020, which was in the depths of the covid shutdown. American Airlines, which commands about two-thirds of airport passenger traffic, showed a gain of nearly 340%. Low-cost airlines Southwest and JetBlue each showed a 100% gain, because they weren’t flying at all here in June 2020. But the first three-quarters of the airport’s fiscal year, which ended June 30, showed a very different picture: total passenger traffic was down nearly 11% over those nine months from the nine-month figure of the prior fiscal year. That nine-month loss was despite the gain of the airport’s sixth and seventh largest carriers by passenger count, Southwest with 689,000 passengers and JetBlue with 497,000. American, by comparison, carried nearly 12.5 million people to and from the airport in the nine months.