Everglades Jetport - an oversized project of the Sixties May 30, 2019 11:59:59 GMT -5
Post by Deleted on May 30, 2019 11:59:59 GMT -5
Dade-Collier Training and Transition Airport (KTNT) is a public airport located within the Florida Everglades, and recently I came across of its curious history.
Constructed in 1968 about 50 miles west of Miami, Dade-Collier Airport was once intended to have six runways, cover 39 square miles of terrain, and serve 35 million passengers a year. Size projections would have placed the airport as larger than the Los Angeles, O’Hare, JFK, and San Francisco airports combined. The grand plans even included a 50-mile monorail from the airport to downtown Miami.
At the time that it was being constructed, the southeastern U.S. was a hotspot for international air travel, and it would have been an ideal hub for the Boeing 2707, a promising supersonic jet capable of traveling at Mach 3 speeds. Since the Boeing 2707 required a layover spot that wasn’t close to civilization (to avoid noise pollution) but close to the Atlantic (to break up overseas flights), the Florida Everglades seemed like the perfect location.
Unfortunately, the Boeing 2707 turned out to be a massive flop, and environmental concerns over the airport’s location in a highly protected natural area prevented the project from ever taking off. As a result, only one runway was ever built, and construction stopped entirely in 1970.
The unfinished airport was maintained primarily for the purpose of training airline pilots, particularly for Pan American World Airways and Eastern Airlines which were based at nearby Miami International Airport, like this B707:
The long runway at Dade-Collier could accommodate aircraft as large as Boeing 747s, and was equipped with a state-of-the-art instrument landing system. The isolation of the airport meant that it could be used for training flights at all hours of the day and night. In more recent years, the advent of flight simulators has made such training flights less economical, and the airport is now used much less frequently, although it remains open to general aviation.