On Tuesday, Orlando International Airport (MCO) announced that it would be closed for all but emergency flights Wednesday, September 28, 2022, due to Hurricane Ian that rocked Western and Central Florida. The closure was extended through Thursday, September 29, 2022, because of dangerous flooding on the roads surrounding the airport. At the time of that announcement, they were unsure whether flights would resume Friday September 30, 2022, or not. They stated it would depend on when maintenance workers could safely get to the airport to assess the damage and the extent of any damage to the building or runways.
Late this evening maintenance Crews were in fact able to get to the airport and it had been deemed safe to resume operations. Flights will resume at 12:00 pm EST. The airport has stated no one should arrive for their flight before 10:00 am in order to give airport staff and flight crew time to prepare after the closure. It is noteworthy that this is 2 hours ahead of the earliest departures instead of the usual 3 hour advanced arrival time recommended for the airport, which is the 7th busiest airport in the country. Travelers are advised to heed MCO’s recommendation and arrive no earlier than 10:00 am.
In their statement (which can be read in full below), MCO said “The decision was made after a thorough investigation of any property damage and careful consideration for the safety and security of the traveling public and airport employees. All roads leading into the airport property and parking facilities will reopen Friday morning.”
This news comes after many local businesses and destinations also announced that they would reopen Friday as well. Hurricane Ian weakened to a Tropical Storm as it was over Orlando and has headed out to sea where it is regaining strength and expected to make landfall in the Carolinas at hurricane strength Friday and Saturday. This means despite MCO reopening, there may still be serious flight delays and/or cancellations. If you plan to travel this weekend, the airport advises that you check with your airline before proceeding to the airport.