Home to 128 public use airports, 20 of which are designated commercial service airports, Florida is the only state with four large hub airports – Miami International, Orlando International, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International and Tampa International.
Air freight in Florida has a significant impact on the overall economy. The air freight industry facilitates economic activity via the services rendered to people and industries by enabling the movement of goods necessary to conduct economic pursuits. Transport, trade services, employment and tax revenue all contribute to Florida’s economy.
As the world economy has become more global, markets and manufacturing have developed, shifted, and in many instances, relocated to markets with low labor rates. New logistics and supply-chain concepts based on low fuel and labor costs developed along with trends in just-in-time production and final manufacturing assembly at destination. As new product shelf life has decreased (such as for consumer electronics) and as the value of goods shipped has increased, the demand for expeditious transport and control has correspondingly increased. Transport by aircraft fills this need in today’s economy.
Florida’s aviation system makes substantial contributions to the state’s economy through tourism and business travel, aviation-related construction, air cargo shipments, military activity and aviation education. In 2014, Florida’s commercial, general aviation and military airports generated $129.1 billion in economic activity. These public and military airports were responsible for 1.2 million jobs with a total payroll of $39.8 billion.
Florida has the opportunity to lay the groundwork for a thriving commercial space industry in the state.
Space transportation is the movement of or means of moving objects, such as satellites and cargocarrying vehicles, scientific payloads, or passengers to, from, or in space. Space Florida, which was created to foster growth and development of a sustainable and world-leading aerospace industry in Florida, assists the aerospace business sector by providing launch facilities, financial services and innovative education programs.
FDOT and Space Florida work closely to provide space transportation services and infrastructure. NASA, the U.S. Air Force, and the State of Florida are partnering together to take advantage of opportunities using the state’s existing assets: launch facilities, payload processing and checkout facilities, and the Shuttle Landing Facility. The Executive Office of the Governor, FDOT, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Enterprise Florida and Space Florida are all working together to support the development of this important business sector.