"We're here to tell the world we're the gateway to the Americas," says Peter Cajigal of Miami International Airport (MIA) office of marketing and trade development.

The airport, which last year saw two million tonnes of freight and 36.5 million passengers pass through its gates, is currently undergoing a $4.7-billion improvement programme, including a $500-million investment to enhance its cargo handling areas.

"We are the gateway to the markets of Central America, Latin America, South America and the Caribbean," says Cajigal, who adds that the investment in cargo areas is needed to accommodate a projected increase to three million tons of air freight traffic by 2005.

To achieve that, MIA is constructing 18 new buildings which will be kitted out with state-of-the-art cargo handling equipment and increasing the number of parking positions for cargo aircraft from 40 narrow-body to 65 wide-body positions.

Source: Flight Daily News