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Wed, Nov 22, 2006

Decreased Traffic May Stall FLL Expansion

Environmental Impact Study Delayed

A planned expansion at Florida's Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport may not happen quite so soon. An upcoming FAA forecast suggests airport operations aren't growing as quickly as predicted.

An environmental impact study on the expansion was planned to be released at the end of this year. Now it won't be finished until the spring, so the FAA can factor in updated passenger figures to be released in January.

An FAA spokesperson says those figures will show a positive growth rate at the airport... but operations may not be increasing fast enough to support a planned expansion by 2012.

"It shows a continued rate of growth but a significantly lower rate of growth," said FAA spokesperson Kathleen Bergen to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

The impact study is one of three documents in the Broward County Commission's plan to enlarge the airport. The FAA study evaluates nine proposals from the county on how to best manage forecasted growth -- from doing nothing, to expanding or even adding runways.

The airport has already added a terminal and expanded parking to handle an influx of passengers.

FMI: www.faa.gov, www.broward.org/airport/

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