Miami International Airport is the busiest airport in Florida. Located just north of the downtown, more than 33 million people move through the airport each year. The airport handles European and Asian flights in addition to domestic traffic, but is best known for its Latin and South American routes. In many years more international passengers board at Miami than at any other airport in the US, heading to and from an extensive list of Caribbean and Southern Hemisphere countries.
The airport opened in 1928 as Pan American Airport, and served a New York to Buenos Aires/Rio crowd. Destinations were added without interruption, as even during WWII when the reservists took over much of the airport domestic travel continued. Even now, Miami is one of the only locations in the US that maintains flights to Cuba, although they must be booked through authorized agents.
Miami International Airport has four runways and handles more than 1,000 flights a day. There are eight concourses that stretch out from the main terminal in a loose semi-circle. All throughout the terminal and the concourses travelers will see signs of construction. Miami International is in the process of moving to a more linear terminal design, upgrading its facilities, and adding a third parking deck to handle the demand from travelers. The construction is supposed to be done in 2011 but it hits a lot of delays so there are no guarantees.
Access to the airport from the city is easy with frequent buses and shuttles. There are eight bus lines serving the airport as well as free shuttles from the Tri-Rail to the terminal. A taxi from downtown to the airport is less than $20, and even with traffic the bus to and from downtown takes less than an hour. Future plans are being drawn up for linking to the SouthBeach Light Rail and for getting a people mover at the airport, but no dates are set yet for construction of those connections.
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