Now there are planes and trains at Miami International Airport. On September 15, the Concourse D skytrain began to whisk passengers off their feet from one end of the mile-long facility to the other for quick connections to everything from flights and baggage claim to stores, restaurants and passport control.
The skytrain people mover system features stations at four main areas of Concourse D. A ride on the skytrain can take you from: station #1 near Gate D-17 at the easternmost end of Concourse D to station #2 for domestic baggage claim; continue to station #3 for connecting flights at gates D-26 to D-39, passport control for international travelers or exits to Central and South Terminal; or carry you all the way to station #4 for gates D-40 to D-60 and American Eagle flights at the new Regional Commuter Facility - all within five minutes.
Interior of skytrain station
Built by Parsons-Odebrecht Joint Venture with trains provided by Sumitomo Corporation of America and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, skytrain's system of four-car trains has the capacity to transport 9,000 passengers per hour. It is also designed to decrease walking time 70 percent for domestic connecting passengers and 34 percent for international connecting travelers in Concourse D. Nearly 40 percent of all MIA passengers are connecting to other flights, with Concourse D handling more than 20 million passengers annually.
Skytrain utilizes Sumitomo-Mitsubishi's Crystal Mover vehicle technology, which is in successful operation or deployment at several major airports worldwide including Washington-Dulles International Airport, Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Changi International Airport (Singapore), Incheon International Airport (South Korea), Dubai International Airport (UAE) and Hong Kong International Airport.
The opening of skytrain is one of the final milestones for the North Terminal Development program. Other major achievements in 2010 include: the renovation and re-opening of the former Concourse A and its 16 gates in July; the opening of the Regional Commuter Facility, which includes two new concourse-level gates and a passenger lounge for American Eagle regional jet flights; and the opening of gates D-16, D-20 and D-33. Only six of North Terminal's 50 gates remain to be opened in 2011.
All phases of North Terminal will be completed in 2011 with: the opening of a new 400,000-square-foot, 72-lane federal inspection area and greeter's lobby that can serve 3,600 international passengers per hour upon their arrival to the U.S.; and a new baggage handling and delivery system capable of screening and transporting 8,400 bags per hour from the check-in area to all of North Terminal's 50 gates utilizing a completely automated system of 25 explosive detection machines and nearly 10 miles of conveyor belt. For more information about North Terminal and the rest of MIA, go to www.miami-airport.com .