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What Might Have Been

Photo from CalClassic Forum


“It was supposed to be the world’s largest airport, a glamorous intercontinental hub for supersonic airliners with six runways and high-speed rail links to surrounding cities. But today, it’s little more than an airstrip in the middle of nowhere.”

So begins a fascinating CNN story on the Everglades Jetport, as it was called back in 1968, “right at the end of the Golden Age of air travel, when plane cabins were filled with the smoke of cigars and the clinking of silverware.”

As originally planned, the Jetport was supposed to be five times the size of New York’s JFK — or larger than LAX, O’Hare, JFK and SFO airports combined — and handle futuristic supersonic airliners carrying up to 1,000 passengers each, such as the Boeing 2707 prototype said to be capable of traveling at Mach 3 speeds.

The Jetport was intended to have six runways, cover 39 square miles of terrain, and include a 50-mile monorail from the airport to downtown Miami.

Not surprisingly, the project was controversial from the start.  Not only did the Boeing 2707 turn out to be a massive flop, but intense environmental concerns over the airport’s location in the highly protected Everglades National Park prevented the project from ever taking off.

As a result, only one runway was ever built, and construction stopped entirely in 1970.

But it sure makes for an interesting story.  Intrigued?  Check out the links above or read more here!





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