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Orlando International Airport to reopen after Hurricane Ian closure

Florida hub previously announced that it would ‘cease operations’ from Wednesday morning

Lucy Thackray
Friday 30 September 2022 14:25 BST
How Hurricane Ian is impacting travel at Orlando International Airport

Orlando International will reopen at 12pm ET (5pm BST) on Friday 30 September, following two days of closure due to Hurricane Ian.

The hurricane hit Florida’s Gulf Coast on Wednesday morning as a monstrous Category 4 hurricane, one of the strongest storms ever to hit the US. It then weakened and was categorised as a tropical storm on Thursday, before being upgraded to hurricane strength once more on Friday.

It has now passed over Florida and is descending on South Carolina, where a State of Emergency has been declared by president Joe Biden.

At least five deaths have been confirmed in Florida, with a local sheriff predicting the death toll could reach the “hundreds”.

Tens of thousands of flights were cancelled due to airport closures in the area, which also included Sanford Orlando International Airport, Tampa International Airport, and St. Pete-Clearwater International.

In a statement posted online early on Wednesday, Orlando International said it was “prepared for the arrival and impact” of the storm, and would “cease operations” until Friday at the earliest.

In an update on Friday, airport management said: “After conferring with the National Weather Service, airlines, and federal partners, it has been decided that Orlando International Airport will resume passenger flights after 12pm Friday.”

“Travellers are advised not to arrive at the airport for their departure prior to 10am, so the airport and partners can prepare working areas to better serve our customers.

“This decision was made after a thorough investigation of any property damage and a careful consideration for the safety and security of the traveling public and airport employees. All roads leading into airport property and parking facilities will reopen Friday morning.”

It advised customers to contact their airlines for any further or more specific information about journeys from Friday onwards.

Disney Parks and Resorts also closed some Walt Disney World hotels in Florida on Wednesday, along with Typhoon Lagoon and its parks’ mini-golf courses.

Kevin Thibault, CEO for the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA), last night said there was flooding in the airport, which is the 10th busiest in the US.

“Through the diligent efforts of our team, we are continuing to remove a significant amount of water to support this intended operation,” he told local press.

Airlines are adjusting their schedules over the weekend ahead, as well as adding some relief flights, so anyone flying in or out of Orlando International should check for the latest information with their airline.

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