In 2019, Miami International Airport (MIA) was looking to update its gate counters. Its existing counters were a collection of mismatched wooden desks that had been pieced together over the years. It also had more counters in place than were necessary. Since they were so large and bulky, there wasn’t much MIA could do in terms of reconfiguring the space. In addition to being outdated in both form and function, issues caused by the natural environment and geographical location, such as heat, humidity, and moisture, posed constant problems.
The USM Solution
Arconas presented the option of USM Airportsystems modular counters because they seemed to address all the issues MIA identified.
USM’s construction of a chrome-plated brass ball joint, chromed steel tubes, and powder-coated metal panels would eliminate the issues the airport had with its old wooden desks due to the heat, humidity, and other environmental factors. Getting rid of the bulky wood structures would also free up space to allow for increased and better passenger flow. The sleek and streamlined design of the new counters would provide a more modern aesthetic and instantly update the look of the terminal concourse.
Coming up with the right customizations was a collaborative effort between MIA, Arconas and USM to ensure the counters could satisfy their needs.
“We worked really closely with the MIA design team for several months, reviewing their unique requirements,” said Krista Tapley, Director of Sales at Arconas. “We decided to try out some sample units for two test gates, so that they could test them out and provide feedback. From there, we were able to make some adjustments for the final units.”
After the trials proved to be successful, 37 units were ordered to replace the old counters in Terminal F: single and double gate counters, as well as small podiums for the scanner at all gate locations.
The rollout process occurred in phases. Since a substantial portion of the project took place during the COVID-19 pandemic, delays were expected. Both Arconas and USM were agile and flexible while working with the airport’s changing timelines due to these delays. When all was said and done, the installation of the new counters took close to a year and was completed in September 2022.
The airlines find them easy to work with and their IT (Information Technology) provider likes how quickly they can adapt if there’s a change in specs or equipment. They’ve also opened up the space, creating a better passenger flow, and have modernized the overall look and feel of the concourse.
Arconas is proud to have worked closely with MIA and USM to make this project come to life.
“This was a great collaboration between the airport, USM and Arconas,” Krista said. “The wonderful thing about USM Airportsystems is that it really is a timeless option. They can be easily modified and reconfigured as needs change – that level of versatility is invaluable to a client.”