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Charleston Airport Closes as Hurricane Ian Moves In

Charleston SC

As South Carolina gets pummeled, Florida airports start to reopen.

(CNN) – Hurricane Ian is dealing another blow to air travel as it moves up the East Coast. Charleston, South Carolina’s airport has closed, while many airports in Florida are reopening on Friday.

The airfield at Charleston International Airport has closed due to high winds from Hurricane Ian, the airport announced on Twitter. There are plans to reopen on Saturday at 6 a.m.

Myrtle Beach International Airport posted Thursday afternoon that it would remain open but that airlines might delay or cancel flights. It had not posted an update as of 10:30 a.m. on Friday.

Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport said on its website that it would remain open, with flight disruptions possible.

Passengers flying to or through areas affected by Hurricane Ian should check with their airlines about flights.

In Florida, most airports plan to reopen Friday. There were still hundreds of flight cancellations in the wake of the storm, and about 150 cancellations of flights arriving or departing Charleston.


Airports starting to reopen

Jacksonville International Airport announced that it will reopen on Friday. The TSA checkpoint will open at 7 a.m., the airport said on Twitter. Some airlines may operate reduced schedules, so passengers are advised to check with their airlines.

Orlando International Airport will reopen at 12 p.m. ET on Friday, according to a verified tweet from the airport.

Tampa International Airport expects “high passenger volumes” when it reopens at 10 a.m. Friday.

CEO Joe Lopano said in a statement that Tampa International is “very lucky to have come out on the other side of this largely unscathed.”

Sarasota Bradenton International Airport anticipates reopening by late Friday, CEO Rick Piccolo told CNN. He watched from his office as the storm pulled apart the airport’s roof.

“While we won’t look as pretty as we used to because the ceiling’s all gone, we’ll be functional,” he said.

St. Pete-Clearwater International plans to reopen Friday morning.

Melbourne Orlando International Airport – one of the smaller commercial airports in Florida with service from Allegiant, American and Delta – said it plans to reopen at 6 a.m. ET Friday.

Key West International Airport reopened at 7 a.m. Thursday, the airport said on its website.


More operational updates

Daytona Beach International Airport remains closed.

The airport posted an update Thursday evening at 8 p.m. saying that the airport’s air field and terminal building are closed and that all Friday departing and arriving American and Delta flights are canceled.

Southwest Florida International (Fort Myers-Lee County) is closed to commercial flights; however, it’s open to emergency personnel and humanitarian flights.

Travelers are advised to check airport websites and social media postings as well as with their airlines for specific information and to confirm timing.

The following international airports in Florida are open but some flights could be delayed and canceled:

• Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International
• Miami International
• Palm Beach International
• Northwest Florida Beaches International (Panama City-Bay County)
• Pensacola International
• Tallahassee International

As for smaller airports, hard-hit Punta Gorda is closed through at least Thursday.

CEO James Parish said Punta Gorda Airport experienced “extensive” damage to hangars at the airport and does not have power in the passenger terminal. Once power is restored, Parish said the airport will make plans to restore service from Allegiant Air.

Gainesville Regional was expected to reopen at 8 a.m. Friday.


Flight cancellations

More than 1,600 Friday flights in the US had been canceled by early Friday morning.

On Thursday, more than 2,000 US flights were canceled, according to data from flight tracking site FlightAware. And more than 2,100 US flights were canceled on Wednesday.

The airports in Orlando and Tampa led with the most cancellations Thursday.

American Airlines says operations at its fourth-largest hub in Miami are recovering.

American customers traveling through airports in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas can rebook flights without change fees.

Other US carriers, including DeltaSouthwest and United, have also introduced flexible policies for impacted passengers.


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