Begun in 1968 as the Everglades Jetport (also known as Big Cypress Jetport), the airport was planned to be the largest airport in the world, covering 39 square miles with six runways, and connected to both central Miami and the Gulf of Mexico by an expressway and monorail line. The airport would have been five times the size of JFK Airport in New York. At the time, the Boeing 2707 was under development and it was anticipated that supersonic aircraft would dominate long-haul air transportation. South Florida was viewed as an ideal location for an intercontinental SST hub due to the limitation that such aircraft would have to fly over water. Because of environmental concerns and the cancellation of the 2707 program, construction was halted in 1970 after the completion of just one 10,500′ runway.
Although the airport was left abandoned and unfinished, it was still retained by the local government as a general aviation airport and (to a greater extent) training airport. It was originally heavily used by Pan Am and Eastern Airlines as a training airport, as the long runway at Dade-Collier could accommodate aircraft as large as Boeing 747s, and was equipped with a relatively new instrument landing system, which allowed pilots to train for landing with low cloud ceilings and/or poor visibility. The isolation of the airport meant that it could be used for training flights 24/7 all days of the year without interfering with the traffic at Miami International. In more recent years, the advent of flight simulators has made such training flights less economical, and the airport is now used much less frequently, although it remains open to general aviation
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