On Friday, December 18, the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce will host its last quarterly pillar breakfast for 2015 at the Alexander Hotel. The guest speaker will be Emilio T. González, Ph.D., the Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Miami-Dade Aviation Department. At the breakfast, Gonzalez will discuss exciting new projects the airport is working on. Gonzalez oversees operations at Miami International Airport (MIA) and four General Aviation (GA) airports in the Miami area, which together generate $33.7 billion in business revenue and support more than 280,000 direct and indirect jobs. MIA leads the way, handling almost 41 million passengers and more than two million tons of cargo annually, placing it among America’s busiest international passenger and cargo airports.
Under González’s leadership, MIA is aggressively expanding its extensive route network into untapped world markets, while leveraging technology to improve the customer experience at the airport. Dr. González has overseen the completion of one of the largest airport expansion programs in the U.S., a $6.5-billion capital improvement program that has added new terminals, roadways and other infrastructure to MIA and the County’s GA airports. He is now leading the planning process for another major infrastructure expansion at MIA. In addition, Dr. González personally directs the Department’s government affairs functions at the local, state, federal and international levels.
Recently, MIA welcomed an impressive mix of new carriers, new routes and new superjumbo aircraft, led by four-star carrier Turkish Airlines’ inaugural Istanbul-Miami flight. The lineup also featured longtime MIA airline partner British Airways’ introduction of daily Miami-London Heathrow service aboard the massive Airbus A380 Superjumbo and the start of daily Las Vegas service by ultra-low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines. Additionally on October 25, Lufthansa introduced expanded seasonal to Munich, SWISS and Virgin Atlantic launched additional daily flights and Air France kicked off seasonal Airbus A380 service.
“If there’s a clear illustration of all of the good things that are happening at MIA, this phenomenal day was it,” said Miami- Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “Most airports don’t see this kind of air service development in a year or even several years and MIA did it all in a single day. Congratulations to our entire Aviation team for their hard work.”
Turkish Airlines’ inaugural flight marked the beginning of scheduled daily nonstop flights between two premier global destinations: the historic gateway linking Europe and Asia and the Gateway of the Americas. Flight 77 from Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport – operated using a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft – touched down in Miami at 5:49 p.m. and was greeted with a traditional water cannon salute. Chairman of the Board of Turkish Airlines M. Ilker Ayci, onboard the inaugural flight with other company executives, was welcomed to MIA by Miami-Dade Aviation Department Director Emilio T. González, Turkish Consul General in Miami Özgür Kivanç Altan and Miami-Dade County Commissioner José “Pepe” Diaz, Chairman of the County’s Trade and Tourism Committee. The group then joined other special guests for a welcome reception and ribbon-cutting ceremony inside MIA’s soaring Concourse J international arrivals lobby.