Located 13 kilometres north-west of the downtown area, the Miami International Airport is Southern Florida’s main facility for long-haul international flights. It is an important hub for services to Latin America, together with flights to Western Asia and Europe, and is one of only eight airports in the United States currently equipped to accommodate the Airbus A380 jumbo jet.
Miami International Airport’s proximity to local Latin American and European populations have resulted in it becoming one of the largest transport hubs in the United States, together with being a major base for cargo carriers FedEx Express and UPS Airlines. It is one of only a handful of airports with direct flights to Cuba, although these flights are restricted to those with special authorisation from the Office of Foreign Assets Control. The airport operates across four runways and a single main terminal building, divided into one linear concourse and concourses. While level 1 is dedicated to arriving passengers, with baggage carousels and access to ground transportation, level 2 is where the check-in areas are situated, together with the concourse gates. There are plenty of shops, fast-food joints and restaurants found throughout the concourses, together with airline lounges and access to the Miami–International Airport hotel. There is a “Plane Fun” children’s play area in Concourse E and an interfaith prayer room in Concourse D, as well as money exchange facilities and Wi-Fi internet access throughout the terminal. The airport is adorned with contemporary artworks which reflect the culture and environment of its surrounding communities, as well as the destinations served by the airport.
Ground transportation from the airport is operated from the Miami Intermodal Centre where the Metrorail station and Tri-Rail terminal are situated, together with the bus terminal and car rental facilities. A free MIA Mover transports passengers here from the terminal arrivals hall, and taxis are available in ranks outside.
The first airport to open on the current site was the Miami City Airport in the 1920s, with Pan American World Airways opening an adjacent facility in 1928. During World War II, the Miami Army Airfield was opened just to the south of here, before they were merged in 1949 by the City of Miami Port Authority.