Ed Nelson, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood's director of air service development, said the program has helped that airport, but it has not been the key to new flights.
''Every airline that has brought service here has done it because it's needed and the market is there,'' Nelson said.
While MIA's plan would save a carrier about $75,000 in annual landing fees, the airport still would earn about $427,000 to $530,000 in other fees and charges for that same flight. Additional passengers also would presumably spend money on concessions and parking.
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez said Tuesday that he would be in favor of the program, though he was not familiar with its details.
''I'd be in complete support of anything that will make MIA more competitive in a very competitive market,'' he said.
To qualify, an airline would have to begin year-round, nonstop service to any U.S. or Canadian destination, or nonstop or connecting service to any international destination not currently served. The flight must result in a net increase in the carrier's total flights to that city.
Funds will come from a $5 million airport improvement fund, Bonzon said. Total landing-fee waivers will be capped at $3 million a year, based on a first-come, first-served basis. MIA proposes to reevaluate the program after two years.
The proposal will go to Miami-Dade's regional transportation committee on April 14, and if endorsed, to the County Commission on May 3 for consideration.
MIA boos: Miami International Airport is replacing its airline incentive program with a new one that has more heft
Three-year program to include cargo carriers
ATA Airlines will resume service from Miami International Airport to Chicago Midway in October, making it the first low-cost carrier to choose Miami over Fort Lauderdale and garner free landing fees.
Making general aviation aircraft pay would help the airport keep costs low for airlines, especially low-cost carriers that have fueled its success.
MIA's reimbursements are higher than those at any other large airport except San Francisco.