"We have New York and Miami as our two major US hubs and of course we have been looking to add another gateway with great connecting options," the minister said.
"There is a key aspect that many people don't consider when they hear about government trying to lock down a new gateway. We have to look at combining demand for destinations and regular flights. Passengers will be able to access different airlines to multiple destinations around the world.
So it's not just about getting from St. Maarten to Fort Lauderdale and back, its the connecting options it adds for us as well. In this context Fort Lauderdale has the potential to be a major US hub for us," the Minister explained.
Broward County's Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) serves the needs of 29.2 million passengers and the general aviation community throughout South Florida.
FLL is ranked 21st in the U.S. in total passenger traffic and 13th in domestic origin and destination passengers. There are more than 325 departure and 325 arrival flights a day. FLL offers nonstop service to 140 U.S. cities and flights to Canada, Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico, Latin America, and Europe. FLL averages 640 commercial flights per day on 26 airlines. There are also 100 private flights. Each day an average of 80,000 travelers pass through the four terminals at FLL.
The Minister said discussions will continue with both airlines and Fort Lauderdale.