Dade-Collier Training and Transition Airport

Dade-Collier Training and Transition Airport, also known as TNT, is a public airport within the Florida Everglades in Collier County, Florida. The airport is owned by Miami-Dade County and operated by Miami-Dade Aviation Department. It covers an area of 24,960 acres, with one runway: 9/27, which is 10,499 by 150 feet (asphalt). For 2001, the airport had 14,468 general aviation operations.

Airport history

The airport opened in 1968 as the Everglades Jetport, and it had grandiose plans: to be the largest airport in the world, covering 39 square miles with six runways and a connection to both central Miami and the Gulf of Mexico by an expressway and a monorail line. For comparison, the airport would have been five times the size of JFK Airport in New York. These plans were made in anticipation of the Boeing 2707, which was under development, a supersonic aircraft that was to dominate long-haul air transportation. This aircraft was to have limitations that meant that it had to fly over water, meaning that South Florida would be the ideal location for servicing it. However, environmental concerns and the cancellation of the 2707 program led to a halt in the development of the airport in 1970, with just the single runway today having been completed. Rather, local government began using the airport primarily as a training center but also for general aviation purposes. Both Pan Am and Eastern Airlines used it for training purposes due to the relatively long runway being able to handle Boing 747s and the new instrumentation, which allowed for advanced training techniques to be implemented, such as landing with low clouds. Furthermore, the relative isolation of the airport meant that training could be done 24/7 without interfering with traffic at Miami International Airport. However, modern flight simulators have rendered such training relatively obsolete, meaning that the airport is now mainly used for general aviation.

Airport location

The airport is located within the Florida Everglades, 36 miles west of the central business district of Miami. It is located on the Tamiami Trail near the border of Dade and Collier counties. 

Airport facts

  • As the runway is two miles long, high-speed automobile events were held here in 2009-2011. The length of the track allows exotic sports cars to reach up to 200mph, considered a pinnacle for street vehicles. 
  • Carlos Gimenez, the former mayor of Miami, wanted to hold a regularly occurring "Miami International Air Show" out of TNT, but the US military rejected the idea. 
  • In 2009, oil exploration on the site was considered, but the idea was scrapped due to resistance from conservation groups.

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