South-Central Florida Metroplex

Monday, November 5, 2018

The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Next Generation Air Transportation System, or NextGen, is the ongoing transformation of air traffic control technology and procedures in the United States. NextGen is moving the National Airspace System (NAS) from ground-based radar to satellite-based navigation, from voice to digital communication and to a fully integrated information management system. NextGen is changing how we see, navigate, and communicate in our nation’s skies. Think of this transition like moving from paper maps to GPS when you drive your car. 

A key NextGen goal is to improve the way aircraft navigate complex metropolitan areas, which we call Metroplexes, to make flight routes and airports more efficient. The FAA has identified 11 Metroplex areas in the United States. Each Metroplex includes one or more commercial airports that serve at least one major city. 

A Metroplex project allows the FAA to improve regional traffic flow by making the best use of airspace and procedures using the precision of satellite-based navigation. 

In addition to improving navigation, Metroplex projects:

  • benefit passengers by creating more direct routes
  • decrease congestion at airports and in the air
  • improve air traffic flows, enhancing safety and efficiency
  • offer environmental benefits by reducing fuel burn and carbon emissions
  • modernize air traffic procedures to today’s standards
  • reduce complexity and communication for air traffic controllers and pilots 

South-Central Florida Metroplex Project 

Florida is the only state with four major international air carrier airports: Miami International Airport (MIA), Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), Orlando International Airport (MCO) and Tampa International Airport (TPA). The South-Central Florida Metroplex will focus on these airports, where operations have a direct effect throughout the NAS. The Agency also will propose changes to procedures for Palm Beach International Airport, and various satellite airports.

The FAA has not updated many of the air traffic procedures for Central and South Florida airports in years. While the procedures are safe, they no longer are the most efficient due to advances in technology. The South-Central Florida Metroplex will develop more direct and efficient satellite-based routes into and out of major airports, enhancing safety and flight efficiency. The Metroplex project also will modify some existing procedures at these airports to ensure that they seamlessly connect to the heavily traveled Atlantic Coast Routes between the Northeastern U.S. and Florida.

Environmental Process and Community Outreach

The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) requires the FAA to identify and publicly disclose the potential environmental impacts of the proposed procedures. We anticipate beginning the environmental review of the proposed procedures in spring 2019. We will offer the public the opportunity to comment on the proposal during the environmental review.   

Before we begin the environmental review, we also will offer the public the opportunity to attend Community Involvement Workshops to learn about the South-Central Florida Metroplex and provide input on the proposed procedures. We encourage the public to attend the community meetings to talk with experts and learn how proposed air traffic changes could affect their communities. The public also may make comments about the proposed procedures at the meetings. The FAA will review all comments before making a final environmental determination on the procedures in 2020.

As we confirm locations, dates and times of all of the meetings, we will post them on the website below. We also will publicize the meetings through news media and social media.

For more information visit our community involvement web page.

Airports Included in the Environmental Review of South-Central Florida Metroplex

Central FloridaSouth Florida
Tampa InternationalMiami International 
Lakeland Linder RegionalMiami Executive
St. Pete-Clearwater InternationalMiami Opa-Locka Executive
Sarasota/Bradenton InternationalOcean Reef Club
Venice MunicipalFort Lauderdale/Hollywood International
Punta Gorda AirportFort Lauderdale Executive
Orlando InternationalPalm Beach International
Kissimmee GatewayWitham Field
Leesburg InternationalBoca Raton
Melbourne International 
Orlando Sanford International 
Orlando Executive