Officials say a new runway opening at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport should help reduce flight delays and bring more tourists to South Florida.
The $719 million, 8,000-foot runway opened Thursday.
Broward County Aviation Department spokesman Greg Meyer tells The Miami Herald that the runway is the first phase of an expansion project that aims to ease crowding and update terminals for the 23.5 million passengers who visit the airport every year.
The airport handles about 260,000 flights annually. The new runway should allow the airport to raise that number up to 425,000 flights a year.
Meyer says JetBlue plans on increasing its number of flights by up to 100 per day, and Southwest Airlines intends to build a concourse specifically for international flights.
The opening of the runway wasn't great news for some homeowners, who claim their properties are ruined.
Brenda Chalifour says she lives right under where jets will fly over now and she might not want to live there anymore. She held a candlelight vigil Wednesday night in protest of the runway opening.
"The noise pollution, the air pollution, the health problems that are to come and a number of other things," she said.
But county commissioners say they've gone above and beyond to correct any problems homeowners will face with the coming air traffic.