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Miami Air Route Traffic Control Center Miami ARTCC ZMA
Miami ARTCC, Miami, FL
Photo by Mark Schermeister

The Miami Air Route Traffic Control Center has a history that spans less than 65 years. Commissioned in 1944, Miami Center, then located in part of the 11th floor of the Roosevelt Hotel in downtown Miami, employed only 15 people. This small staff recorded 50,000 operations in its first year of service. In 1946, the Miami Center moved into a surplus U.S. Air Force building on the grounds of the Miami Airport.

The current building, erected in 1957 and located a mile from the airport, now employs an Air Traffic staff of 356. The average daily traffic count in 2008 was 6,580, however our record-setting, highest traffic count ever for a single day was on January 2, 2005; we controlled 11,095 flights that day.
Miami Center is divided into four areas of operation with six areas of specialization, and operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We control approximately 2.95 million cubic miles of airspace and share boundaries with Houston Center, Jacksonville Center, New York Center, San Juan CERAP, Turks & Caicos, the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Cuba Area Control Centers.


Miami Center ARTCC Miami, FL
Miami ARTCC, Miami, FL
Photo by April Lewis-Bolowich

hurricane approaching South Florida 2005
Hurricane Jeanne 2004

Miami Center faces many seasonal challenges each year. During the summer months, our airspace is often plagued with frequent, long lines of severe weather, thunderstorms and sometimes even hurricanes. These disturbances not only impact major traffic routes but also affect operations in and around adjacent FAA and international facilities.

Hurricane Wilma struck Boca Raton Airport (BCT) in 2005, upturning fleets of aircraft and destroying hangars
2005 Boca Raton Airport (BCT), Boca Raton, FL after Hurricane Wilma
Photo by April Lewis-Bolowich

Sun-n-Fun airshow 2007 Lakeland, FL
2007 Sun-N-Fun airshow, Lakeland, FL

This is the smile you get when you fly a p51 Mustang for a living
2007 Sun-N-Fun airshow, Lakeland, FL
Photo by April Lewis-Bolowich

Sun-N-Fun airshow poster 2007

Another challenge is the increased concentration of traffic between November and April. Special events such as NASCAR, NFL playoffs, NCAA events, international boat shows, PGA events, NBAA conventions, Presidential movement, Lakeland Sun ‘N Fun, Stuart Air Show, and the Fort Lauderdale Air and Sea Show occur during these months, along with the regular influx of snowbirds and vacationers from the northern states.

Captain Terry Lewis in the warbird CJ6A (also known as a Yak)
2007 Sun-N-Fun airshow, Lakeland, FL capt. Terry Lewis
Photo by April Lewis-Bolowich

Aerobatic stunt pilot Steve Oliver in the SkyDancer 2007 Sun-N-Fun airshow Lakeland, FL
2007 Sun-N-Fun airshow Lakeland, FL Aerobatic stunt pilot Steve Oliver in the SkyDancer
Photo by April Lewis-Bolowich

With the growing demand on South Florida & Oceanic airspace, and the mix of commercial, general aviation, and military traffic, we must continue to seek innovative ideas to respond to the demands on the National Airspace System. We are presently implementing the latest advances in technology for use in separating aircraft, viewing weather, and providing instant access to information for controllers

Miami ARTCC (Miami Center) radar view of Sector 60 Ocean Area
Minneapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center Radar Sector






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