Aviation News

April 3, 2013

Ft Lauderdale Airport Set To Grow Bigger with New Runway

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Written by: Mark Lawrence

With the increased growth of air travel into South Florida, and in particular Miami International, officials at Ft Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport and Broward County embarked on a massive project to increase capacity.  Breaking ground on January 23, 2012, the project started to expand the previous general aviation runway 9R/27L to a six story elevated ramp runway to reduce flight delays at the airport, and to keep up with increasing traffic demands into the area.  The project is scheduled for completion in September of 2014.

GALLERY: Ft Lauderdale Builds A New Runway

This new runway project is sure to attract more international air traffic to Ft Lauderdale. In fact, it already has: Norwegian Airlines will begin two flights a week from Copenhagen and Stockholm beginning in November 2013 with leased A340s, and eventually the 787 Dreamliner. A new expanded long-haul international terminal will also be constructed and additional capacity to the other terminals create that will increase gate capacity from a total of 66 to 97 gates

Unlike many other big airports local aviation will not be forgotten either. To take into account the increase in general aviation traffic, FBO operator Sheltair has recently completed a multi-million dollar project to expand new hangar capacity close to the new runway. Other FBO operators are looking all looking at projects to increase capacity in their own operations

On the construction side the main reason for the ramping of the runway is to accommodate the current highway US-1 and railway lines that currently run along the eastern side of the airport. Previously, runway 9R/27L was 5,276′ x 100′ and with the expansion will increase to 8,000′ x 150′ that is due to open in September 2014. Along with the expansion of the runway, the taxiways on the main north side runway 9L/27R are being increased to a full-length 75′ wide taxiway and additional capacity of other taxiways on the airport to be able to cope with the increased capacity. The current cross runway, 13/31 will be closing in May 2013 and will be permanently decommissioned.

One of the major efforts going into the construction of the runway is the importing of a huge amount of dirt to fill in the space for the elevated runway as well as for the new runway. Dirt is brought in by train and then moved to the construction areas by truck.  However, getting the dirt from the train trucks to the road trucks is bringing out some novel methods, including the positioning of the loaders in the train trucks as shown in one of the pictures.

A full version of the FAA impact study that details the full expansion can be viewed here.

About the Author

Mark Lawrence
Mark Lawrence is a NYCAviation staff member and a south Florida-based aviation fanatic. He has been around the industry since he was a small boy. Mark can be reached at [email protected]


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  • Mark, Thanks for bringing home a project I knew nothing about. The elevated runway seems so impressive. Does the existing part of 9R/27L have to be raised also or will the extension be at the same level, with the RR tracks going through a newly built tunnel? Raising and lowering tracks isn’t easy.

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  • My favourite part of traveling to Ft. Lauderdale is the playing of the Macarena instead of the usual klaxon to warn that the Baggage carousels are about to start moving. It fits very well in a vacation destination.

  • Smart plan to expand at FLL. Flying through MIA can be a headache with all the traffic. In fact, my next commercial flight to Jamaica will be going thru Fort Lauderdale. MUCH easier!