The Miami airport Skytrain, which operates inside of the American Airlines D concourse, is offline – and it may not be back for months. Three piers showed deterioration in the concrete, according to engineers.
Nearly half of passengers were using the train to go from security to their gate, or to connect between gates, because it takes half an hour for most people to walk the mile from one end of the terminal to the other.
The airport has been announcing closures of the train, but hadn’t said what the issue is. An engineering report to the city revealed the problem.
“Three piers, especially Pier 106, show accelerated deterioration of the concrete,” Albert Hernandez, an engineer for county contractor HNTB, wrote in a Sept. 15 email to senior staff at MIA. “There is extensive structural cracking in various patterns throughout the exposed pier cap perimeter.”
The system is inspected every other year, and cracks were first identified in 2021. They had grown by May. While over 100 piers hold up the train, cracks are an issue with three of them.
With the system shut down, the airport is running golf carts that you can flag down… if they’re empty. The airport has only been running two golf carts and only between 9:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. – in a concourse that sees 80,000 passengers per day. Be prepared to walk.
- Some people will be late for flights if they don’t give themselves more time arriving at the airport
- And some already-booked short connections may be a lot tighter
⚠️ #TravelAdvisory Update (09/21/23) ⚠️
The Concourse D Skytrain is out of service for maintenance. A courtesy shuttle service is available from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience. @AmericanAir pic.twitter.com/zLIQOTonBY
— Miami Int'l Airport (@iflymia) September 21, 2023
Analysis of the issue alone is expected to take until mid-month. Then a plan will have to be agreed to, repair services procured, and then undertaken.
(HT: Chris Sloan)