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LAN Cargo's facility to create 300 jobs at MIA

By Staff Reports on January 24, 2014

The Miami-Dade Aviation Department (MDAD) convinced LAN Cargo to build its first U.S. maintenance facility at Miami International Airport.

The US$23.9 million (17.4 million euro) project is expected to create more than 300 jobs in the first five years.

The Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners approved LAN Cargo’s plans to build the facility, and MDAD finalized the agreement with LAN.

“We’re thrilled that LAN has chosen to grow their already-strong local presence at MIA,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez said. “All parties stand to benefit from this project, particularly the residents who will gain employment as a result of LAN’s new facility.”

LAN Cargo and its affiliates handle more freight at MIA than any other airline, moving approximately 380,000 tonnes of goods through the global gateway in 2013. In total, MIA handled a record-breaking 2.1 million tonnes of freight in 2013.

Based in Latin America, LAN had originally planned to build its new facility in Bogotá, Colombia. MDAD officials – with the support of local and state leaders and agencies including Gimenez, Florida Governor Rick Scott, The Beacon Council and Enterprise Florida – convinced the airline to instead build its Western Hemisphere fleet maintenance hangar in Miami.

The agreement between MDAD, LAN, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the Federal Aviation Administration will lead to the construction of the new aircraft maintenance facility, as well as two new aircraft parking aprons and a taxiway, John Heffernan, communications manager at MDAD, tells Air Cargo World. Under the terms of the agreement, LAN will fully fund the US$15 million (11 million euro) construction cost of its new maintenance hangar and will pay MDAD US$134,000 (97,960 euros) per year in ground-lease rental payments over the first 30 years of the agreement.

MDAD will pay a total of US$714,000 (521,968 euros) for the demolition of the building that previously occupied the hangar site at the west end of MIA, as well as for costs related to apron construction. FDOT and the FAA will contribute US$3.6 million (2.6 million euros) and $4.6 million (3.3 million euros), respectively, toward the construction of the new aircraft parking aprons and taxiway.

“LAN Cargo is a leading and steadfast business partner here at MIA, and convincing them to build their new Western Hemisphere maintenance facility at our airport, rather than in Latin America, is a big win for MIA and our community,” Miami-Dade Aviation Director Emilio T. González said. “Getting to this point was a team effort, and I’m grateful to Mayor Gimenez, our local, state and federal partners, and the MDAD team for bringing this project – and the many jobs that come with it – home to MIA.”