MIAMI-The revitalized, county-owned Miami International Airport is to be transformed into an expanded, state-of-the-art facility at a cost of at least $5.4 billion. The facelift will allow MIA to handle 48 million passengers 10 years from now, up from 34 million passengers currently. The work will go on at the existing site.

The upgrade, already under way, will provide wider corridors, brighter lighting, a greater variety of stores and restaurants, an expanded hotel, an additional concourse, easier access to parking and baggage delivery and a central car rental facility connected to the terminal via an automated people mover.

Miami-Dade County officials justify the renovation expense by pointing out the airport creates one out of every six area jobs, either directly or indirectly.

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