Largest Jet Has Miami On Its Radar
The world’s largest passenger jet could land in Miami as early as 2008.
Economic development officials say Miami International Airport is likely to be one of seven US cities to accommodate the recently launched aircraft.
"We met with Airbus representatives and we are very excited," Beacon Council President Frank Nero said last week after returning from a trade mission that included the Paris Air Show. "We will see the plane in Miami sometime in 2008 or 2009." The Beacon Council is Miami-Dade County’s economic development agency.
As of this week, German-based Lufthansa and Virgin Atlantic Airways are intending to fly the Airbus, launched in December 2004, into Miami International Airport, according to Greg Chin, an airport spokesman. The 555-passenger double-decker aircraft seats 100 more passengers than the largest Boeing 747.
To accommodate the massive aircraft, Miami International will need to make some adjustments. Mr. Chin said the airlines that would use the airbus would prefer to have two passenger boarding bridges at the new south terminal’s main and upper deck.
Construction of the boarding bridges and other projected terminal and gate improvements are estimated at $15 million to $20 million. Additionally, the airport would need to widen runway shoulders at a cost of $25 million.
Kristi Tucker, Airbus director of communications, said Tuesday that other than Miami, Lufthansa and Air France will be flying to Chicago’s O’Hare International, New York City’s John F. Kennedy, Anchorage, San Francisco, Memphis and Dulles Airport in Washington, DC.
In addition to talking to Airbus officials, Mr. Nero said the Beacon Council’s tour de France "was quite extensive but went very well."