ⓘ Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport

Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport

ⓘ Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport

Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport is a major public airport in Broward County, Florida, United States, and is one of three airports serving the Miami metropolitan area. The airport is off Interstate 595, Interstate 95, U.S. Route 1, Florida State Road A1A, and Florida State Road 5 bounded by the cities Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood and Dania Beach, 3 miles southwest of downtown Fort Lauderdale and 21 miles north of Miami. The airport is near cruise line terminals at Port Everglades and is popular among tourists bound for the Caribbean. With over 700 daily flights to 135 domestic and international destinations, FLL has become an intercontinental gateway since the late 1990s, although Miami International Airport still handles most long-haul flights. FLL serves as a primary airport for the Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, Boca Raton areas.

It is the largest base for Spirit Airlines, catering mainly to the airlines international to domestic network, and it is a focus city for Allegiant Air, JetBlue and Norwegian Air Shuttle. In November 2019, the top five air carriers by market share were JetBlue at 23.8%, Spirit Airlines at 22.8%, Southwest Airlines at 19.6% Delta Air Lines at 10.1%, and United Airlines at 6.0%. FLL is ranked as the 18th busiest airport in terms of passenger traffic in the United States, as well as the nations 14th busiest international air gateway and one of the worlds 50 busiest airports. FLL is classified by the US Federal Aviation Administration as a "major hub" facility serving commercial air traffic. In 2019, the airport processed 36.747.622 passengers 2.2% more than 2018 including 8.844.072 international passengers 2.7% more than 2018.


1. History

Merle Fogg Airport opened on an abandoned 9-hole golf course on May 1, 1929. At the start of World War II, it was commissioned by the United States Navy and renamed Naval Air Station Fort Lauderdale. The base was initially used for refitting civil airliners for military service before they were ferried across the Atlantic to Europe and North Africa. NAS Fort Lauderdale later became a main training base for Naval Aviators and enlisted naval air crewmen flying the Grumman TBF and TBM Avenger for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps aboard aircraft carriers and from expeditionary airfields ashore. NAS Fort Lauderdale was the home base for Flight 19, the five TBM Avengers that disappeared in December 1945, leading in part to the notoriety of the Bermuda Triangle.

NAS Fort Lauderdale closed on October 1, 1946 and was transferred to county control, becoming Broward County International Airport.

Commercial flights to Nassau began on June 2, 1953, and domestic flights began in 1958–1959: Northeast Airlines and National Airlines DC-6Bs flew nonstop to Idlewild, and Northeast flew nonstop to Washington National. In 1959 the airport opened its first permanent terminal building and assumed its current name.

In 1966, the airport averaged 48 airline operations a day; in 1972, it averaged 173 a day.

The Feb 1966 Official Airline Guide shows three nonstop departures to New York–Kennedy and no other nonstop flights beyond Tampa and Orlando. Five years later. FLL had added nonstop flights to Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Minneapolis, New York–La Guardia, Newark, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. Northeasts nonstop to Los Angeles had already been dropped.

By 1974, the airport was served by Braniff International Airways, Delta Air Lines, Eastern Air Lines, National Airlines, Northwest Orient Airlines, Shawnee Airlines and United Airlines. Delta and Eastern were the dominant carriers, with 12 and 14 routes from FLL respectively. By 1979, following deregulation, Air Florida, Bahamasair, Florida Airlines, Mackey International Airlines, Republic Airlines, Trans World Airlines and Western Airlines also served the airport.

Low-cost airline traffic grew in the 1990s, with Southwest opening its base in 1996, Spirit in 1999, and JetBlue in 2000. Spirit Airlines made FLL a hub in 2002. In 2003, JetBlue made FLL a focus city. US Airways also planned a hub at Fort Lauderdale in the mid-2000s as part of its reorganization strategy before its merger with America West.

Low-cost competition forced several major legacy airlines to cut back service to FLL, with United pulling out of the airport entirely in 2008 and American Airlines moving its New York and Los Angeles services to West Palm Beach in 2013.

During the 2005 hurricane season FLL was affected by Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Wilma. Katrina struck land in late August as a Category 1 and made landfall on Keating Beach just two miles from the airport near the border of Broward and Miami–Dade counties with 80 mph 130 km/h winds but caused only minor damage; however, the airport was closed for about a 48-hour period. However, when Hurricane Wilma made landfall in October roof damage was reported along with broken windows, damaged jetways, and destroyed canopies. The airport was closed for a period of 5 days. Hurricane Wilma was a Category 2 when its center passed to the west of FLL.

In February 2007, the airport started fees to all users, including private aircraft. FLL is one of the few airports to administer fees to private pilots. A minimum charge of $10 is assessed on landing private aircraft.

On October 11, 2016, Emirates announced that they would operate a flight from Dubai to Ft. Lauderdale daily using a Boeing 777-200LR. The airline decided on Fort Lauderdale instead of Miami, which has considerably longer runways and better facilities for long haul flights, because of its codeshare agreement with JetBlue. The airline started flying in December 2016. On October 27, 2016, British Airways announced a flight from London Gatwick to Ft. Lauderdale three times a week, which began on July 6, 2017.

In 2018, NORAD announced that it would be stationing fighter jets at the airport during President Donald Trumps trips to Mar-a-Lago.


2. Facilities

Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport covers 1.380 acres 558 ha and has two runways:

  • 10R/28L: 8.000 x 150 ft 2.438 x 46 m Concrete Opened September 18, 2014.
  • 10L/28R: 9.000 x 150 ft 2.743 x 46 m Asphalt

In March 2019, there were 109 aircraft based at this airport: 8 single-engine, 21 multi-engine, 64 jet and 16 helicopter.

Silver Airways has its headquarters in Suite 201 of the 1100 Lee Wagener Blvd building. When Chalks International Airlines existed, its headquarters was on the grounds of the airport in an unincorporated area.


3. Construction

Expansion of runway 10R/28L

In 2003, plans to expand the facility started. Proposed improvements included an extension of runway 10R/28L, construction and modifications to the airports taxiway system to provide for increased speed, improved inter-terminal passenger movement, and extensive terminal upgrades. The plan was updated a second time on April 25, 2006. Complaints by nearby communities about noise, along with concerns about buyout requirements, delayed construction that is expected to keep the airport viable through 2020.

On June 5, 2007, Broward County commissioners voted six to three in favor of extending the southern 10R/28L runway. The proposal looked to extend the runway to 8.000 feet 2.400 m in order to accommodate larger aircraft and to allow airplanes to land side by side at the same time. The proposal was approved by the FAA and expansion of the south runway was completed in September 2014. The crosswind runway 13/31 was decommissioned on May 6, 2013. All four terminals now have 63 gates total; that number will increase to 97 with the completion of a new long-haul international Terminal Four and Concourse A at Terminal One. By 2020, Ft. Lauderdale–Hollywood is projected to handle 36 million passengers annually.

Demolition and reconstruction of Terminal Four

During and after the expansion of runway 10R/28L, reconstruction of Terminal Four will begin at the cost of $450 million. The H concourse will be demolished to build the new "G" concourse. In this process four new gates will be added. Concession space will be increased from 2.128 square feet 197.7 m 2 to 28.000 square feet 2.600 m 2 and a secure walkway will be added to connect terminals three and four.

North runway maintenance

On June 2019, the north runway closed for maintenance, reducing the number of passengers flying in until October 2019. The airport had last seen major renovations on the north runway since 2004, with parts of the runway still dating back to 1943.


4. Terminals

Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport has four terminals. Terminal 1, commonly referred to as "The New Terminal," opened in stages between 2001 and 2003 and was designed by Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum and Cartaya Associates. The other three terminals were constructed in 1986 and designed by Reynolds, Smith & Hills as part of a $263 million construction project. Terminal 4, commonly referred to as the International Terminal, was inaugurated by a Concorde visit in 1983. Since 2005, T4 has been undergoing renovations and a major expansion designed by PGAL/Zyscovich joint venture. The airport announced that Terminal 1, common known as "The New Terminal", underwent $300 million makeover. Construction began in late 2015 and was completed in June 2017.


4.1. Terminals Terminal 1: "New Terminal" - Yellow

  • This terminal is used by Alaska, Allegiant, Bahamasair, Copa, Silver, Southwest, Swoop, United, and WestJet.
  • The Yellow Terminal has three concourses A, B, & C and 23 gates. Concourse A opened on July 5, 2017 and has 7 gates A1-A7, Concourse B has 7 gates B2, B4-B9, and Concourse C has 9 gates C1-C9. Concourse A mainly serves international travelers.
  • United Airlines operates a United Club in Concourse C, which opened with the new Terminal in May 2001 as a Continental Airlines Presidents Club.

4.2. Terminals Terminal 2: "Delta" Terminal - Red

  • This terminal is used by Delta and Air Canada.
  • This terminal is currently undergoing a $100 million modernization, including the expansion of the ticketing area, new ceilings, flooring, paint, the inclusion of more food, drink and retail concessions, lounges, etc.
  • Delta Air Lines operates a Sky Club here – one of six clubrooms in the state of Florida.
  • The Red Terminal has one concourse D and 9 gates.

4.3. Terminals Terminal 3: Main Terminal - Purple

  • This terminal is used by American Airlines, Azul, Emirates, JetBlue, Norwegian, and some Spirit Airlines flights.
  • In May 2013, a food court opened in Concourse F. It currently consists of a Pei Wei, Einstein Bros. Bagels, and a Steak n Shake.
  • The Purple Terminal has two concourses E & F and 20 gates.

4.4. Terminals Terminal 4: International Terminal - Green

  • The Green Terminal has one concourse G and 14 gates G1-G14. Concourse H closed in December 2017 and has since been demolished.
  • This terminal is used by Air Transat, Avianca, British Airways, Caribbean Airlines, Frontier, IBC, SkyBahamas, Spirit, and TAME.
  • The former Concourse H was reconfigured and redesigned by the architectural firms of PGAL/Zyscovich joint venture. The new three-story facility renamed Concourse G has 14 new gates, 11 of which are international/domestic capable and one arrivals area for bussing operations. New concessions and approximately 50.000 s.f. of administrative offices for the Aviation Department are being designed on the upper levels of the facility. An expanded Federal Inspection Services facility will also be included in the new Eastern Expansion construction.

5. Art Exhibit

Internationally known artist and sculptor Duane Hanson created an installation for his work "Vendor with Walkman" at the Departure Level of Terminal 3 at the airport. Hanson, who retired and died in nearby Boca Raton, created a seated middle-aged man wearing a red T-shirt, blue pants, baseball cap and listening to a walkman during a break. The installation accessories give additional clues to the narrative of the artwork: toy airplane, various signs, and announcement for the shop, janitorial supplies.

The artwork has since been moved to Terminal 1 Arrival Level.


6.1. Ground transportation Rail

Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport is near the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport at Dania Beach train station, served by Amtrak intercity trains and Tri-Rail commuter trains. The latter provides a shuttle bus service from the station to three locations at the airport, all on the lower level: the west end of terminal 1, between terminals 2 and 3, and between terminals 3 and 4. The shuttles operate 7 days a week and are free for Tri-Rail customers.


6.2. Ground transportation Road

The terminals are accessible by U.S. Route 1. Other major roads that border the airport include Florida State Road 818, Interstate 95, and Interstate 595. U.S. Route 1 includes an underpass under Runway 10R/28L.

Ride-sharing apps can also be used to and from the airport in designated pickup and drop-off places found between Terminals 1 and 2 and Terminals 3 and 4.

The airport also offers airport parking and operates a consolidated rental car facility which can be accessed from Terminal 1 by a short walk and from the other terminals by a free shuttle bus service.

FLL is served by Broward County Transit bus Route 1 which offers connecting service through the Broward Central Terminal in downtown Fort Lauderdale, and also service to Aventura Mall in Aventura, Florida in Miami-Dade County.


7. Accidents and incidents

  • On October 28, 2016, FedEx Express Flight 910, a McDonnell Douglas MD-10-10F suffered a landing gear collapse upon landing. The aircraft subsequently caught fire, which destroyed the left wing and engine. The two crew members on board both survived.
  • On October 29, 2015, Dynamic Airways Flight 405, a Boeing 767-246ER N251MY was taxiing to a runway to take off for a flight to Caracas, Venezuela. when its left engine caught fire due to a fuel leak. The crew immediately stopped the airplane and fire crews arrived on the scene. All 101 passengers and crew were evacuated the aircraft, and 17 passengers were transported to a hospital. All runways were shut down and air operations ceased at the airport for three hours.
  • On July 7, 1983, Air Florida Flight 8 with 47 people on board was flying from Fort Lauderdale International Airport to Tampa International Airport. One of the passengers handed a note to one of the flight attendants, saying that he had a bomb, and telling them to fly the plane to Havana, Cuba. He revealed a small athletic bag, which he opened, and inside was an apparent explosive device. The airplane was diverted to Havana-Jose Marti International Airport, and the hijacker was taken into custody by Cuban authorities.
  • On May 18, 1972, an Eastern Air Lines McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31 had its landing gear collapse and tail section separate during landing. The aircraft then caught fire but all passengers and crew were able to safely evacuate.
  • On May 26, 1979, an Inter Island Shipping Inc. Howard 350 crashed when one engine lost power shortly after takeoff during a forced landing, impacting trees near FLL. Both occupants died. Contaminated fluid was found in the carburetor of the engine.
  • On January 6, 2017, a lone gunman opened fire inside Terminal 2 with a semi-automatic handgun, killing 5 people. The shooter surrendered to police and was arrested.
  • On November 19, 2013, an Air Evac International Learjet 35 crashed shortly after take-off from the airport, on its way to Cozumel, Mexico, after calling mayday and during an attempt to return to the airport, possibly due to engine failure, leaving 4 persons dead.