Miami, Florida,
16:19 PM

MIA lands five NACo awards

Aviation Department programs recognized by the National Association of Counties

05.09.19 NACO 2019

Miami International Airport, which is operated by Miami-Dade County’s Aviation Department, is the recipient of five 2019 National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Awards. NACo announced the award-winning counties last week and will recognize them at its 2019 Annual Conference and Exposition July 12-15 in Clark County, Nevada.

Congratulations to MIA for once again establishing itself as a leader among its peers across the country. I appreciate NACo for recognizing the hard work and dedication of our Aviation Department employees who contributed to these award-winning projects.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez

As home to the first biometrics-only passport screening facility in the U.S., MIA was recognized in the Transportation category. Since MIA opened the new Concourse E facility in November 2017, it has been screening as many as 10 passengers per minute via facial recognition - verifying a traveler’s identity by matching their facial image to the document they are presenting. The airlines now using the Concourse E facility have seen their wait times decrease by 30 to 80 percent since relocating from MIA’s Concourse D. MIA expects to expand biometric entry processing to its Concourse D and J passport control facilities later this year.

The Compra Fora (“Buy Outside”) program - MIA’s partnership with the Brazilian Post Office (Correios) to expedite e-commerce shipments between Brazil and Miami-Dade County – earned an award in the Community and Economic Development category. The first-of-its-kind, expedited shipping service allows e-commerce packages of all sizes from anywhere in the world to be shipped to MIA, be pre-cleared by Correios, and arrive in Brazil as domestic cargo within days instead of what used to take weeks or months.

Unveiled on September 15, 2018, in celebration of MIA’s 90th anniversary, the Miami International Airport: A Hub for History exhibition received an award in the Arts, Culture and Historic Preservation category. Developed in partnership with HistoryMiami Museum, the exhibit includes photographs, artifacts, uniforms and archival video from the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives, featuring celebrity MIA arrivals and other notable events since the airport’s first flight on September 15, 1928 to now.

The airport’s MIAair (Airport Instruction and Readiness) Program, which was recognized in the two categories of Human Services and Children and Youth, provides rehearsal tours and materials to families with special-needs children. MIA has partnered with the University of Miami-Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities and the University of Miami’s Department of Otolaryngology to develop the program, which allows families to practice the check-in and security screening processes in a controlled environment before the day of their flight.

We are honored to be the recipient of five 2019 NACo awards, in recognition of our efforts to improve customer service and operational efficiency at MIA. We look forward to adding many more new customer enhancements in 2019.
Lester Sola, MIA Director and CEO

Nationally, awards are given in 18 different categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide. Started in 1970, NACo’s annual Achievement Awards program is designed to recognize county government innovations. Each nominee is judged on its own merits and not against other applications received.

The National Association of Counties (NACo) unites America’s 3,069 county governments. Founded in 1935, NACo brings county officials together to advocate with a collective voice on national policy, exchange ideas and build new leadership skills, pursue transformational county solutions, enrich the public’s understanding of county government and exercise exemplary leadership in public service. Learn more at

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).