Major Florida airports suspend operations ahead of Hurricane Ian

Florida air travelers are facing major disruptions ahead of Hurricane Ian.

Several of the state’s busiest airports – including Orlando International Airport (MCO) – are suspending operations as Ian approaches as a “major” Category 3 storm.

The biggest so far is Orlando International – the world’s seventh-busiest airport in 2021 – which announced it will “cease operations” at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. The airport encouraged affected passengers to contact their carrier for rebooking information.

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Orlando International joined a rapidly growing list of Florida airports saying they’d halt flights and close terminals during what’s expected to be the worst of the storm. The Orlando area’s other airport – Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB), which serves mostly budget carriers – said it would close its doors at 5 p.m. and urged customers not to come to the airport.

In the Tampa Bay region, which remains at risk of a potential landfall by Ian, Tampa International Airport (TPA) had already announced plans to shut down operations at 5 p.m. Tuesday. Across the bay, St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) near St. Petersburg was set to close at 1 p.m.

Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) on Florida’s Gulf Coast said it would close at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

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Other airports across the state could suspend operations and close their terminals as Ian’s track firms up. All passengers with Florida plans this week should monitor their flights for possible disruptions.

This is a developing story. Check back for additional updates.