Programs will sustain and promote growth at Port Everglades and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
Port Everglades today hosted a forum for government entities and their private sector stakeholders to discuss with U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano the assistance needed from DHS to sustain and promote economic growth. She later toured Port Everglades’ Cruise Terminal 26, one of the largest cruise terminals in the United States.
Secretary Napolitano was joined by Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Congresswoman Lois Frankel and Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart. Each asked questions to facilitate their understanding of the operational and security demands currently experienced by Port Everglades and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
Broward County Mayor Kristin Jacobs welcomed our visitors and said, “if you look in almost any direction you will see multi-hundred million dollar projects... and these projects have already produced thousands of jobs and infused millions of dollars into one of our nation’s hardest hit economies, however, those investments are threatened by shortfalls in the federal resources needed to perform critical federal safety and security functions.” Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel reiterated the importance of continuing support for security.
To accommodate the growth in cruise passengers and meet federal security mandates, Port Everglades has spent over $129 million in the last four years to renovate and expand five of nine cruise terminals. To update cargo capacity for international trade, the Port has a number of projects underway totaling almost $250 million which has already produced thousands of jobs and infused millions of dollars into one of our nation’s hardest hit economies. Port customers, represented by Princess Cruises and Holland America Line, and Florida International Terminal and Crowley Maritime Corporation, detailed their investments and growth plans as well and made it clear that these plans will be constrained or halted without the a concurrent federal investments in resources.
Port Everglades Chief Executive & Port Director Steven Cernak reiterated, “Additional federal resources will help leverage the massive federal, state and local infrastructure investments that have already been made here.”
Last year alone, Port Everglades accommodated 3.7 million multi-day passengers and over 22 million tons of cargo. In 2012, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport serviced over 23 million passengers. Both world-class facilities serve a regional population of 8 million residents. JetBlue and Spirit Airlines executives at the forum both admitted they could not go forward with growth plans without assurances that the government staffing levels would be expanded.
About Port Everglades
As one of South Florida’s leading economic powerhouses, Port Everglades is the gateway for international trade and cruise vacations. Already one of the busiest cruise ports in the world, Port Everglades is also one of the nation’s leading container ports and South Florida’s main seaport for receiving petroleum products including gasoline, jet fuel and alternative fuels. The Port Everglades Department is a self-supporting Enterprise Fund of Broward County government with operating revenues of approximately $143 million in Fiscal Year 2012 (October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012). It does not rely on local tax dollars for operations. The total value of economic activity at Port Everglades is approximately $15.3 billion. More than 160,000 Florida jobs are impacted by the Port, including almost 11,400 people who work for companies that provide direct services to Port Everglades. More information on Port Everglades, which is governed by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners, is available on the Internet at www.porteverglades.net or e-mailing PortEverglades@broward.org.
DATE: February 20, 2013
MEDIA CONTACT: Maisy Alpert