Ralph Cutie Director and CEO of Miami International Airport is projected to serve 50 million passengers in 2022, his first year
Ralph Cutie’s take on his first year as director and CEO of MIA
Concessions up to 90%
Since September 2021 that Ralph Cutie has been director and CEO of MIA he has seen a lot through and made a lot of progress possible. One of the things he went to work on right away were concessions which were greatly impacted after the pandemic. He has seen MIA through to bringing concessions up to about 90% currently occupied with some new ones and others admittedly may never be seen again.
MIA land acquisition and vertical integration
What is the latest on the land acquisition to increase the footprint of MIA?
According to Ralph Cutie right now there is no plan to expand as far as land acquisition goes. Nevertheless, through the Capital Improvement Plan they plan to be able to purchase land west of the airport that they can use for cargo storage. It will be on airport property but vertically integrated, and for cargo storage.
Potential Florida East Coast Railroad collab
Preliminary discussions to collaborate with the Florida East Coast Railroad could mean that someday people can take trains from the MIA. Not just that but Cutie and the administration would really like MIA to connect directly to the Seaport so that there are two routes for cargo/people from MIA instead of just one. This is in very preliminary talk so it’s nothing to expect to hear more about right now but soon.
Capital Improvement Program
The Capital Improvement Program that got approved on June 4, 2019, by the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners at Miami International Airport will subsidize up to $5 billion in air terminal wide modernization projects throughout the following 5 to 15 years, preparing for future development in traveler and freight traffic at MIA - projected to arrive at 77 million passengers and more than 4 million tons of cargo by 2040.
According to Cutie they are in the process of re-evaluating costs because the costs estimated previously are no longer accurate due to the pandemic. Once this is done, they then must present these new costs estimate to the board for approval.
Parking and Valet improvements
The Capital Improvement Project includes a new parking garage by 2025 to assist in the congestion experienced in the Dolphin and Flamingo garages that you currently find at MIA. It is a 2,200-space garage so they will be able to shift all the MIA employees that park in the Flamingo and Dolphin garages, so it frees up space for passengers. More great news is that now during the holidays they will be using an additional lot with 500 more spaces so parking issues should be a thing of the past in the not-so-distant future at MIA.
Customer Experience Enhancement Program
This is an initiative by MIA that is occurring simultaneously to the CIP program and is meant to help influence the passenger’s traveling experience and overall impression of MIAMI from the beginning of their trip to the end. The goal is to excel and impress, the average passenger by paying attention to every detail they encounter. From the loading bridges they stepped into once they got off the plane, to the restrooms which people run to once they hop off the loading bridge.
For example, of the 120 loading bridges owned by MIA there are about 2/3rds that are in the process of being replaced and the rest are being refurbished. Through the Restroom Renovation Program, of the 447 restrooms that passengers can find in the terminals, there are 192 that are in phase 1 of the renovation program with 52 scheduled for construction soon. Through the modernization program MIA is also redoing the baggage claim areas as well as the elevators.
MIA is back!!!
According to Cutie, in 2019 MIA set a record of 46 million passengers traveling through MIA. During the 2020 pandemic that number went to 18.7 million, then doubled to 37 million in 2021, and in 2022 they expect to hit 50 million passengers, which is 4 million over the record-breaking year of 2019.
How does MIA measure up to the world?
With respect to passenger and cargo travel statistics, Cutie says that MIA is the #1 airport in the USA for international passengers to travel through and from and #10 airport among total passengers. Even more impressive is that MIA is the #11 airport in international passengers and the #12 airport in total passengers in the world.
How is MIA on the forefront of technology?
Ralph Cutie explained to Calle Ocho News that MIA has instituted a Smart Airport Technology Program and that they have promoted an employee to be the Chief Innovation and Technology Officer. MIA wants to be on the forefront of being a smart airport by providing innovations like making elevators and escalators talk to each other so they can be repaired and maintained faster. This month, MIA will begin to test a reservation system for screening times at one of its TSA checkpoints.
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