In recent weeks, there has been some exciting elevator industry news in Miami-Dade County – conveyance units at Miami International Airport (MIA), one of the busiest airports in the world, are set to undergo some substantial upgrades. After a competitive bidding process with a number of vertical transportation companies in the region, the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners approved a contract with Schindler Elevator, an affiliated company of the International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC).
A recent article from Airports International Magazine describes how the multi-year contract will involve the repair, maintenance, and upgrade of vertical transportation equipment over the next several years. Schindler’s recent press release reports that the company will maintain all of the elevators, escalators, and moving walks at Miami International Airport and across Miami-Dade Transit’s Metromover system.
“Much of the equipment at Miami International Airport is outdated – so Schindler employees will be going in and ripping out those old units and replacing them with new, state-of-the-art equipment,” said Richard Romeo, one of the foremen in charge of day-to-day operations at the airport. “The work our members, the brothers and sisters of IUEC Local 71, are doing is going to make the airport more efficient, and I’m so proud to help lead a project of this magnitude.”
Romeo, an elevator industry veteran of more than two decades, went on to explain how the new contract – which will ensure elevator constructors are on-site at the airport 24 hours a day, 7 days a week –will benefit the airport, airport vendors, airport employees, and passengers traveling through the airport each day.
“The new contract is a 24/7 contract – this means a more efficient response time and better service for MIA and MIA passengers. A 24/7 contract ensures service and maintenance crews are on-site every day and at every hour,” added Romeo. “Other airports operate like this, and it is very efficient. We will have three shifts now – a morning, an afternoon, and a night shift. No matter the day – holidays or whatever it may be – there will be a crew at the airport ready to jump in and help should a need arise. People have places they need to go, and airports need to run efficiently. A 24/7 contract creates a pathway to better, timelier service. If a repair needs to happen overnight, for example, a 24/7 contract allows the work to happen at a time when there’s tremendously less foot traffic. It’s a better, more practical time to get certain work accomplished.”
Miami-Dade County selected Schindler Elevator from a number of other bids for the contract. The contract awarded to Schindler Elevator includes significant improvements to MIA’s elevators, escalators, and moving walkways – and Schindler employees, including Romeo, are ready to get to work on this impressive conveyance overhaul.
Miami International Airport enjoyed record numbers in 2022, as it handled nearly 51 million passengers. These tens of millions of passengers will certainly benefit from this vertical transportation endeavor, as Schindler Elevator already has proven relationships with major airports, universities, stadiums, and other noteworthy facilities across the country and around the world.
In a recent interview, Miami-Dade County Mayor Danielle Levine Cava referred to the modernization project at MIA as a “game-changer that will future-proof the conveyance units at Miami International Airport for decades to come.” Upgrading the elevators, escalators, and moving walkways at MIA is a large-scale project that will require significant knowledge, skill, and expertise – and by choosing an IUEC-signatory contractor (Schindler), it ensures this job will be completed in accordance with the industry’s highest standards.
In the Airports International Magazine article referenced above, MIA Director and CEO Ralph Cutie talks about transitioning MIA, an airport that is rapidly growing, to becoming more future-ready – and that the goal behind this effort is to match this growth with customer service excellence at all touchpoints.
Airports are such a critical part of our nation’s infrastructure, and investing in our airports is especially important in today’s fast-paced global community.
“Working at the airport is incredibly exciting and rewarding. It’s the same – but it’s also quite different – every day. There are always new challenges to take on,” said Romeo. “And with employees ranging from 38 years in the industry to just five years of elevator experience, we have quite the team. Everyone brings something critical to the table, so there’s no shortage of credible professionals to turn to when someone is looking for knowledge and help. No one person knows everything, but together we can tackle any job.”
For more information about the importance of escalator & elevator upgrading, and what it involves, be sure to check out our article on elevator modernization.