Miami International Airport (MIA) is one the busiest airports in the world. There are 80 airlines covering 150 destinations that operate here. Miami-Dade's aviation department operates the airport. It handles 14.7 million passengers a year as the country's third busiest airport for foreign arrivals and departments. It's also one of the major economic centers for the county of Miami-Dade. There are also many independent agencies that offer cheap car rentals located close to MIA. All these industries provide more than 240,000 jobs to the local communities. Grounded in tourism, trade and international banking, MIA's annual impact on the local economy is up to $19 billion.
In 1928, Pan American Airlines turned 116 acres of land into Pan American Field. That September, the first flight took off for Meachem Field in Key West. In 1930, a new runway and hanger were added. Overall, the airport was largely unused until 1934. Eastern Airlines started utilizing the runways and soon, National Airlines followed. By then, it was renamed the 36th Street Airport. Between 1949 and 1959, the airport was home to air force reserve troop carriers and rescue units. There were few cheap MIA car rental companies at this time.
In 1947, the city of Miami purchased the area and renamed it Miami International Airport. Though for years, it was called MIAD, referring to Miami International Airport Depot.
MIA is the country's largest gateway for the Caribbean and Latin America. There are plans for expansion through a capital improvement program that will be completed in 2013. At that time, MIA's terminal will cover in the vicinity of seven million square feet. They recently extended the South Terminal, adding 1.7 million square feet. The project to expand MIA's cargo facility was completed, providing almost 3 million square feet for 17 new cargo buildings. There have also been a number of road improvements in the airport's area with many new cheap MIA car rental companies adding to the growth.