$400 million Fort Lauderdale airport expansion to increase traveler capacity by 5 million annually

by | Oct 9, 2023

  • Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) on Monday broke ground on a $404 million construction project called Terminal 5 (T5) to enhance its capacity to serve travelers.
  • The expansion is aimed at accommodating the expected growth in air travel demand in the region, with predictions of an increase from 35 million to nearly 52 million annual passengers within two decades.
  • The project, funded by various sources, including airport bonds and grants, is expected to take approximately three years, with an anticipated completion date in 2026.
  • The expansion is also expected to generate thousands of construction-related jobs and permanent positions at the airport while supporting the growth of airlines like JetBlue, which is overseeing the project in collaboration with Broward County.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) on Monday marked the commencement of a $404 million construction project designed to enhance its capacity to serve travelers.

The Terminal 5 (T5) project represents the airport’s first new-build terminal in decades and is expected to address a growing demand for air travel in the region. Industry forecasts predict an increase from the current 35 million annual passengers to nearly 52 million within two decades, with the expansion playing a role in accommodating this growth, adding the capacity to serve 4 to 5 million more passengers annually.

“The new terminal will help provide the needed critical infrastructure required to propel FLL forward by creating opportunities for new and existing airline partners to grow and help set the stage for future Master Plan expansion activities,” FLL CEO and Director of Aviation Mark Gale said.

The investment is funded by various sources, including airport bonds, grants from the Florida Department of Transportation, and passenger facility charges. The project is expected to take approximately three years, with an anticipated completion date in 2026.

Per airport officials, the project is also expected to generate 3,400 direct and indirect construction-related jobs and, upon completion, create between 1,000 and 1,250 permanent new jobs at the airport.

“We’re excited about FLL’s new terminal and expect it’s going to be a welcomed and much-needed asset to accommodate our airport’s growth,” Broward County Administrator Monica Cepero said.

JetBlue, which is FLL’s second-largest airline, is overseeing the project through a joint agreement with Broward County. The airline previously contributed to overseeing a past modernization project in FLL’s Terminal 3, where the airline primarily operates.

“As the customer-centric alternative to the high-fare legacy airlines that dominate South Florida, we are thrilled to continue our work as an active partner with the Broward County Aviation Department on further expansion to increase capacity, which will enable us to reach more than 250 daily departures by 2027 following our planned combination with Spirit,” said JetBlue president Joanna Geraghty.

Data released by Visit Florida in August showed an increase in international visitors to the state, reaching the highest numbers recorded since 2019. Covering the initial two quarters of this year, the dataset shows a rise in overseas visitation by 21.8 percent and Canadian visitation by 81.1 percent when compared to the same period in 2022.

Between April and June 2023, Florida hosted a total of 33.1 million visitors. Of this total, 1.9 million came from overseas, while 846,000 visitors originated from Canada. Overall visitation thus far totaled 70.8 million visitors, reflecting a 1.3 percent increase over the initial half of 2022 and a 4.5 percent rise above pre-pandemic levels in 2019.


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