The first new-build terminal in decades for the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) is taking a significant step toward reality. On Monday, October 9, 2023, the Broward County Aviation Department (BCAD), in conjunction with the Board of County Commissioners, is hosting a groundbreaking ceremony from 2:30PM to 5PM to mark the start of construction on the site of the airport’s new Terminal 5 (T5) project.
“It’s a great day for FLL as the Aviation Department and its development partners break ground on the airport’s brand-new Terminal 5,” Broward County Mayor Lamar P. Fisher said. “I look forward to the positive ripple effects of having another airport terminal for travelers to enjoy as they travel to and from their domestic destinations.”
T5 is designed as a two-level, five-gate domestic terminal with check-in/ticketing areas, arrival/departure baggage processing, a security screening checkpoint, and retail/food and beverage concessions. The estimated $404 million state-of-the-art facility will connect to the existing onsite Cypress parking garage and Terminal 4 through multi-level pedestrian bridges or walkways.
“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. “Congratulations to everyone involved in this milestone airport development – we can’t wait to see Terminal 5 take shape.”
Preliminary work on the approximately 230,000-square-foot terminal set to rise on the east side of Terminal 4 has commenced with site clearing and tree mitigation, among other early-phase tasks. Construction should take about three years for a targeted completion in mid-2026. T5 will be built from various funding sources, including airport bonds, Florida Department of Transportation grants, and passenger facility charges.
“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/Director of Aviation Mark Gale said.
T5 will add incremental gate capacity at FLL that, together with other upcoming capital development projects (earmarked to provide more gates), will better position the airport to meet future aviation demand. Industry forecast models project FLL to grow from 35 million annual passengers today to nearly 52 million within 20 years. The new terminal will accommodate 4-5 million passengers annually. The carriers expected to operate in T5 will be determined later.
Gale noted that building an entirely new terminal versus remodeling an existing facility gives BCAD a blank canvas to creatively seek opportunities to add new amenities and services to enhance the FLL guest experience.
As with Terminals 1 through 4, FLL’s new T5 will encompass Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) features and amenities to ensure accessibility in all areas for everyone. The terminal will also have environmentally friendly elements built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or LEED Silver certification standards.
Based on a joint agreement between Broward County and JetBlue Airways Corp., the New York-based carrier is managing the construction of FLL’s new terminal on behalf of the County. JetBlue, FLL’s second-largest airline, also oversaw the modernization project in Terminal 3, where the carrier primarily operates.
“It was 23 years ago that JetBlue’s first ever flight took off from JFK to FLL, and we now send customers to more than 40 destinations from Fort Lauderdale. We are excited to once again support and advance Broward County’s vision as we manage the development of Terminal 5,” said Joanna Geraghty, JetBlue’s president and chief operating officer. “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 BCAD 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.”
As the T5 project administrator, JetBlue hired Parsons as Program Manager, M. Arthur Gensler & Associates for design services, KEITH as Construction Engineer Inspector, and Hunt/Moss as Construction Manager at Risk.
Community Economic Impact
The T5 project is poised to generate approximately 3,400 direct and indirect construction-related jobs. More than a dozen small businesses will be involved in various aspects of the multimillion-dollar project. After completion, it’s anticipated the terminal will create between 1,000 and 1,250 permanent new jobs at FLL.