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16 Gates Re-Open At MIA’s North Terminal

Miami International’s (MIA) North Terminal re-opened 16 gates July 20 in the former Concourse A, which has been re-named and is now an extension of Concourse D.

The North Terminal’s security checkpoint No. 1 also opened that day.

The eight gates nearest the checkpoint are fully operational; the other eight will begin serving flights in September, with the opening of the North Terminal SkyTrain, a rooftop automated people-mover system. It will take passengers from one end of the mile-long concourse to the other within minutes.

 “Closing the former Concourse A in November 2007 for renovations and re-opening it now as an extension of Concourse D was a necessary step to save about two years and more than $200M in construction costs for the overall North Terminal project,” says Greg Chin, media relations manager for the Miami-Dade Aviation Department. “Once the new regional commuter facility for American Eagle passengers opens in August and the SkyTrain people mover system opens in September, North Terminal will be 91% complete with final completion scheduled for the fall of 2011.”

Stores that have re-opened in the new area include Starbucks, Jose Cuervo Tequileria and NewsLink; in the next two months, other openings will include
Duty Free Americas, Haagen Dazs, Islander Bar and Grill, Icebox Cafe and Café© Versailles.

In other MIA news…

American Eagle flight attendant  Meghan Rafferty has been named Miami International’s Employee of the Month for July for her efforts to help save a passenger going into cardiac arrest.

The passenger, Paul Jensen, sent Rafferty a letter more than two months after she used a defibrillator to help him. Jensen, who is now in Denmark, wrote that he is grateful to be alive after two weeks in the hospital and a major surgery.

“We don’t really know each other very well, but on Jan. 29, our paths crossed each other in Miami International Airport in a way that for me turned out to be the most incredible and life-giving moment,” the letter from Paul Jensen begins. “Today I look upon the gift of life in a different way – I cherish the blessings in my life – and I am allowed to do so thanks to your heroic actions on that day.”

Rafferty lives in Mount Dora, Fla., and has been an American Eagle flight attendant since 2007; she is also a former firefighter and paramedic, and volunteers with the U.S. government’s Disaster Medical Assistance Team, which responds to natural disasters.

On Jan. 29, she saw a crowd of people gathered around Jensen, who was on the floor. She ran to get an automated external defibrillator and helped resuscitate him.

“With more than 80,000 passengers traveling through MIA every day, providing excellent customer service depends on every airport employee doing their part and sometimes going above and beyond the call of duty,” says Dickie Davis, Miami-Dade Aviation Department terminal operations and customer service director. “Thankfully, Meghan is one of those employees who did exactly that. She is a true hero.”

Rafferty received her Employee of the Month award during a surprise celebration July 21 and is now eligible to win MIA’s Employee of the Year award.

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