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National Association of Counties recognizes MIA in numerous categories

The Miami-Dade Aviation Department (MDAD) is proud to announce that it has won five 2017 National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Awards. MDAD will be honored with other winners from across the country at NACo’s Annual Conference and Exposition Achievement Awards Luncheon in Columbus, Ohio on July 21.

MDAD’s recognition includes the following innovative initiatives at Miami International Airport: the Plane Fun Learn and Play Area; the MIA Airport Official 2.0 mobile app; the Volunteer Ambassador Program; the Maintenance Contractor Pilot Program; and the MIA Wall of Honor.

Congratulations to the MIA team on receiving these well-deserved national awards, which recognize their dedication and commitment to making MIA one of the most innovative airports in the country.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez

MIA’s Plane Fun, the airport’s new interactive children’s play area that opened on October 13 near Gate E-5, was recognized in the Children and Youth category. Created in collaboration with the Miami Children’s Museum, Plane Fun features six interactive, immersive exhibits that are educational and, well, just plain fun.

Honored under the Information Technology category was MIA Airport Official 2.0, the airport’s upgraded mobile app that serves as a passenger’s personalized travel assistant. Thanks to more than 500 Bluetooth data beacons installed throughout MIA, passengers can now scan their boarding pass and immediately receive turn-by-turn, blue-dot navigation with estimated walk times, real-time flight updates, and shopping and dining suggestions nearby based on their customizable personal profile. MIA is one of only a handful of airports in the world to incorporate beacon technology with its mobile app to provide this cutting-edge, personalized travel experience.

In the Volunteer category, MIA’s Volunteer Ambassador Program was recognized for growing from 19 members in 2003 to its current roster of 80. Combined, MIA’s volunteer ambassadors provided more than 12,000 hours of service in 2016. Ranging in age from 18 to 85, MIA’s volunteers represent more than 22 countries, speak 18 languages, and include former educators, military veterans, engineers, nurses and airline employees.

In the County Administration and Management category, MIA’s pioneering Maintenance Contractor Pilot Program won top place for its small business outreach efforts and having awarded approximately $8.7 million in new contracts to 59 local small business contractors in the three years since its inception. The program, which gained permanent status in 2015, has opened the door for these local contractors to handle priority maintenance and construction projects at MIA and Miami-Dade County’s four general aviation airports.

Under the Arts and Historic Preservation category, MIA was recognized for its Wall of Honor memorial – a 51-foot-long monument covered in black granite stone that lists the names of 119 military service men and women from South Florida who have given their lives while serving in any overseas contingency mission or declared theater of operations in the global war on terrorism since September 11, 2001.

I commend everyone at MIA for working so hard on these great initiatives that have once again elevated our airport on the national stage. “From helping children and visitors to honoring our veterans, the staff at MIA has made clear their determination to providing travelers with a world-class experience at our airport. 
Miami-Dade County Commissioner Rebeca Sosa, Chairperson of the County’s Economic Development and Tourism Committee
MIA has once again garnered national attention for providing smarter government and cutting-edge services to our passengers and residents. I am thrilled that we were recognized as an industry leader alongside other counties across the country for integrating world-class technology and amenities into our customer service.
Miami-Dade Aviation Director Emilio T. González

The National Association of Counties (NACo) is the only national organization that represents county governments in the United States. Founded in 1935, NACo provides essential services to the nation’s 3,068 counties. NACo advances issues with a unified voice before the federal government, improves the public's understanding of county government, assists counties in finding and sharing innovative solutions through education and research, and provides value-added services to save counties and taxpayers money. For more information about NACo, visit

To request materials in accessible format, Sign Language Interpreters, CART services and/or any accommodation to participate in any Miami-Dade Aviation Department (MDAD) public meetings and events please email the ADA Office at or call the office in 305-876-7747 five days in advance to initiate your request. Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing may also call 711 (Florida Relay Service).