Miami International Airport (MIA) has started work on its Central Base Modification and Expansion Project.

The project includes upgrading the 34.1-acres of asphalt and concrete pavement. Constructed in the 1960s, the pavement currently serves as a parking and movement area for aircraft near Concourse D.

The enhancement work is aimed at maximising aircraft parking locations, supporting larger aircraft and improving stormwater and lighting in the area.

MIA director and CEO Lester Sola said: “This is the first of many groundbreakings we will be hosting in the coming months and years, as we move forward with our new capital improvement programme.

“MIA grew by one million passengers in 2018 and is on track for another record-breaking year in 2019, which makes modernisation projects like the Central Base renovation all the more essential to accommodating our growth and maximising our efficiency.”

Of the $76.2m cost for the project, the Federal Aviation Administration will provide 75%. The Florida Department of Transportation will contribute 50% of the cost.

By 2040, the airport is expected to handle 77 million travellers and over four million tonnes of cargo.

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The Central Base gate forms part of MIA’s $5bn improvement programme to meet the requirements of future passenger and cargo projections.

The project is expected to be completed by December 2022.

Last month, MIA revealed its new $324m automated baggage screening system in the south and central terminals.

In May, the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint at MIA was equipped with a computed tomography (CT) scanner.