Several Florida airports have shut down as Idalia — expected to make landfall as a Category 3 hurricane — gets closer to the Sunshine State.
The storm will likely cause delays at airports both inside and outside of the state, including Miami, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Atlanta, Charlotte and Denver, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
“Sometime tomorrow afternoon we are going to start to see the winds pick up and some rain showers and possibly thunderstorms moving to airports like Naples, Fort Myers, and very late in the day, perhaps Tampa,” National Weather Service - National Aviation Meteorologist Joe Carr said on Monday. “During the overnight hours tomorrow night, we anticipate that maybe Orlando and Gainesville will begin to be impacted.”
Here is the most recent information as of Tuesday afternoon:
Hey travelers, @NWS National Aviation Meteorologist Joe Carr has the latest on Tropical Storm #Idalia's possible travel impacts tomorrow to @MCO, @GNVAirport and other Florida airports as it develops into a hurricane. Monitor https://t.co/smgdqJN3td. #FAAWeatherSquad pic.twitter.com/J9FgM5iKsC
— The FAA ️ (@FAANews) August 28, 2023
Tampa airport remains closed
Tampa International Airport closed at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, and it will remain closed until it can assess any damage later in the week.
“The closure will allow the airport and its partners to prepare the airfield and terminals, including the securing of jet bridges, ground equipment and any remaining aircraft before Idalia’s expected landfall early Wednesday as a potential major hurricane,” the airport said Monday. “Some cargo and private aircraft operations could continue overnight, but all air traffic will cease by 7 a.m. Tuesday morning.”
The airport, including the main terminal, is “closed to all visitors and is not equipped to function as a shelter,” officials said.
Shutdown at St. Pete airport
St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport closed at 3 p.m. Tuesday and plans to reopen at 3 p.m. Wednesday.
PIE will close 3:00 pm on Tuesday, August 29th due to Tropical Storm Idalia and plans to reopen Wednesday, August 30th at 3:00 pm. Passengers should check with their airline for flight information updates.
— St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (@iflypie) August 28, 2023
Sarasota-Bradenton airport to shutdown
Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport closed 7 p.m. Tuesday and that will reopen 8 a.m. Wednesday.
️As Hurricane Idalia approaches, The Sarasota Bradenton International Airport will be CLOSED starting at 7pm today, 8/29/2023.
️SRQ plans to reopen at 8am tomorrow, 8/30/2023, pending damage assessment.
Reminder: SRQ is not a shelter. Stay Safe!#FlySRQ pic.twitter.com/kbwC3ti8Sa
— SRQ Airport (@SRQAirport) August 29, 2023
Delays, cancellations likely at Orlando airport
Orlando International Airport said Monday that flight delays and cancellations are likely to occur with heavy rainfall and gusty winds in the area.
“Please check directly with your airline for any updates in regards to your flight,” the airport said.
On Tuesday, it said: “We do not foresee any significant impact to our operations at this time. If conditions warrant, a temporary cessation of commercial operations may occur.”
Our airport is open and operational. We continue to monitor the status of Hurricane #Idalia - we do not foresee any significant impact to our operations at this time. If operational changes occur, we'll post about it. Please check with your airline in regards to your flight. pic.twitter.com/qB5nv6C2b8
— Orlando International Airport (@MCO) August 29, 2023
Tallahassee airport to close
Tallahassee International Airport will shutdown Tuesday at 11 p.m.
“Customers are encouraged to verify the status of their commercial flight with their airline prior to heading to the airport,” officials said.
Due to Hurricane Idalia, TLH will be closing Aug. 29 at 11 p.m. Customers are encouraged to verify the status of their commercial flight with their airline prior to heading to the airport. For more @CityofTLH service updates, visit https://t.co/IWfP2z3Jrb #Idalia #IdaliaTLH pic.twitter.com/WtDO6ZhoWS
— Tallahassee International Airport (@TLHAirport) August 29, 2023
Check flight status at Gainesville airport
Gainesville Regional Airport reminded passengers to check their flight status with their airline prior to coming to the airport.
Dear GNV Travelers: Pls see below for American, Delta and Silver Weather Alert info. Pls check your airline before coming to GNV as we get through this. Stay safe...Orange and blue skies soon!!https://t.co/MqaYHNSdUghttps://t.co/5b0cRrlUIHhttps://t.co/1p6Vwb4Hto pic.twitter.com/SfWqs8iepm
— Gainesville Airport (@GNVAirport) August 28, 2023
Naples Airport begins preparations
The Naples Airport began preparations for Idalia on Monday.
On Tuesday, the Naples Airport Authority’s administrative office remained closed, and limited fixed base operator and air traffic control services were expected.
“Tenants and customers are encouraged to review the storm preparedness plans,” the airport said on Monday.
Possible delays at Fort Myers-area airport
Southwest International Airport in the Fort Myers area hadn’t announced it had plans to close as of Tuesday afternoon.
“There may be delays or changes to your flights today, Aug. 29, due to changing weather conditions,” officials said.
The staff of the Bradenton Herald contributed to this report.