$46 Million More For Miami International Airport Boondoogle

Already more than $2 billion over budget and more than three years behind schedule, Miami International Airport's north terminal is about to suck more money from Miami-Dade County.

This Friday, aviation department bureaucrats will ask the county commission's airport and seaport committee to sign off on adding $46 million to a $153 million contract with Siemens Energy & Automation Inc. to install a baggage handling system for the north terminal.

A county manager's memo explaining why the deal ballooned from $100 million to $200 million in just three years says Siemens fell behind schedule, and American Airlines officials believed the design would cause delays in getting luggage to its passengers.

Expect the commitee - and then the full commission - to sign off on the latest hornswaggle from American, which has basically been in charge of the North Terminal for nearly two decades. And that means passengers will have to pay

more to travel out of MIA.

The money to cover the aiport construction

is derived from landing fees charged to the airlines, which pass the

cost on to their customers.

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Francisco Alvarado was born in Nicaragua and grew up in Miami, giving him unique insight into the Magic City and all its dark corners. An investigative reporter with a knack for uncovering corruption, Alvarado made his bones as a staff writer at Miami New Times and remains in dogged pursuit of the next juicy story.