The Miami International Airport terminal is stated to present "notable life safety challenges because of large occupant loads, presence of significant combustible loads, complex security restrictions, and less than ideal egress provisions from interior spaces." (Miami International Airport, 1998) The Life Safety Master Plan (LSMP) is stated to provide a summary of the fire safety surveys and studies conducted. The first line of defense is stated to be that of prevention of fire however, the facility's size and complexity makes a requirement that there is complete coverage "by automatic fire protection systems...in place in case prevention fails." (Miami International Airport, 1998 ) Also required in combination with highly reliable automatic protection systems are manual fire fighting capabilities of an enhanced nature.
Drug Trafficking Threats
The South Florida HIDTA reports that the Miami International Airport (MIA) is not only the busiest airport in the United States for international cargo but it is also the busiest airport in the U.S. For international passenger traffic and is "used extensively as an entry point for narcotics in bulk shipments." (Office of National Drug Control Policy, 2009) The Office of National Drug Control Policy states that Miami is "considered a "high-demand" destination for designer drugs and is a transshipment point between the suppliers in Europe and organizations in South America. Marijuana remains readily available in South Florida. The increasing role of small-grow operations and indoor hydroponics operations is adding to the drug's supply." (Office of National Drug Control Policy, 2009)
The drug trade combined with money laundering and cash smuggling as well as a host of other illegal gang-related activities make South Florida "...a transportation and financial center vulnerable for exploitation by criminal organizations. South Florida remains as a significant command and control center for international narcotics trafficking organizations; is an international hub for drug traffickers and money launderers from Central America, South America, and the Caribbean; and has been identified as having the country's second largest concentration of Russian and Eurasian immigrants and proportionate career criminals and organized crime." (Office of National Drug Control Policy, 2009)
It was reported December 19th, 2008 that American Airlines had plans for layoffs at Miami International Airport. AMR, parent company of American Airlines is stated to have approximately 9,000 employees at the Miami International Airport. The company has been hard hit by high gas prices and the economy resulting in AMR announcing "thousands of job cuts, double-digit reduction in capacity percentage and the retirement of 75 to 85 gas-guzzling planes." (Frogameni, 2008)
To answer the need for a solution to improve the Miami National Airport a major intermodal hub was designed. The work of Marie-Elise Dowell entitled: "Simulating Traffic Operations" states as follows:
"Traffic congestion in Miami-Dade County has been a concern for citizens and transportation agencies for several years. It continues to worsen because of the county's continuous and rapid increase in population, particularly in its suburban areas. Concerns about airport congestion go hand-in-hand with those related to roadway congestion. Located at the southeastern tip of the U.S., Miami has been called the Gateway to South America." (Dowell, nd)
Dowell goes on to relate that the Miami-Dad Aviation Department has "...developed a $6 billion capital improvement program for the next twenty years to address the airport congestion concerns." (ND) Two primary goals are the focus of the program:
(1) Improve access to the airport;
(2) Increase airport's capacity to meet the ever-increasing demand. (Dowell, ND) These goals are also stated to provide challenges since the increase of airport capacity "...would also increase travel to and from the airport, taxing the already deficient roadway system." (Dowell, ND) Not only were the costs stated to be "prohibitive...the airport is surrounded by major freeways, arterials, office buildings and airport related facilities." (Dowell, ND)
Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), the MIC is being developed as two major facilities stated to be those of:
(1) Rental Car Facility. This facility will consolidate the entire major rental car agencies scattered throughout the area into a 7,500-space parking facility that provides full rental car services. It will include customer service counters, administrative offices, return car lot, employee parking, and service maintenance areas; and (2) The MIC Core. Adjacent to the rental car facility, the MIC core will house limited passenger ticketing and baggage claim, as well as other non-airport land uses, such has hotel, shopping, and employment. Rail and bus stations as well as taxi and cruise bus staging areas are also incorporated into the MIC in order to provide connections to the local and regional transit system." (Dowell, ND)
The MIC core, rental car facility and Miami International Airport will be linked to each other by a people mover, and to the rest of the region by the following:
(1) Tri-Rail, a heavy rail line between Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties;
(2) Metrorail, a light rail line that provides service in selected areas of Miami-Dade County;
(3) Metrobus, which provides bus service throughout Miami-Dade County;
Private bus service to the seaport for cruise ship passengers.
(4) Both the rental car facility and the MIC core are still under development. Their specific uses, densities, access and locations are being refined. (Dowell, ND)
III. RECOMMENDATIONS & CONCLUSIONS
It is not possible to consider the Miami International Airport with blinders on to the other very necessary components in the transportation and aviation infrastructure of the Miami area but instead required is considering the many intricately linked solutions in the area of human being transportation methods. This must be examined in term of the needs of optimal and efficient movement that is coordinated within a defined system.
This system must smoothly flow with costs being contained and optimization remaining in predefined ranges of satisfaction on timing and quality measures. In order that the Miami International Airport achieve this type of transportation system flow optimization it is necessary that all the smaller wheels and even the wheels found within those wheels are examined.
This research has related the various aspects of operation and specifically within the area of International Airport administration and operations for the Miami International Airport. Because the area in which this airport is located is so congested the various sub-layers of the airport and specifically of the infrastructure of the transportation system from the largest to the smallest parts be analyzed and examined for efficiency and for optimal links and efficient integration factors.
The Miami International Airport should focus on the overall aspects of transportation integration in view of factors including the challenges noted in this study which include those of economic, environmental, and demographics coupled with the physical demands of the mass movement of human beings within a condensed system such as is represented by the Miami International Airport and the area in which this airport is located as a major world hub. Disease factors, transportation of bacteria and insects are all considerations that must be addressed as are the occasional terrorist event or accident that occurs.
Transports of illegal drugs require security as well as do other threats. Networking and communication will be vital within and throughout the aviation workers for purposes of efficiency and security and certainly in consideration of efficiency and satisfaction of customers. Miami International Airport will be required to cautiously develop it is likely and in an ongoing or incessant manner in order to keep pace with the needs and demands that present in the near future of the aviation transportation industry. Lastly, the 'climate change' or 'global warming' as…