Aviation

Florida’s Gulf Coast is ahead of Ian

As Florida’s west coast braces for Hurricane Ian’s arrival on Wednesday, local airlines are reporting groundings ahead of landfall. The storm is classified as a Category 3 storm, and forecasters expect it to be at least a Category 1 hurricane when it makes landfall.

Tampa has been designated an evacuation zone, and beginning at 5 p.m. tonight, Tampa International Airport will suspend operations to ensure the safety of jet bridges, ground equipment and any remaining aircraft ahead of the storm, which is expected to batter the area with strong winds, rain and storm surge. The airport authority said it will begin assessing the damage as soon as it is deemed safe to do so and will coordinate its recovery based on roadway safety, facility readiness and staffing levels.

Sheltair, which operates an FBO at the field, will also close it during this time to prepare for the safety of its employees, customers and aircraft. The Florida-based carrier announced earlier today that it has closed its St. Petersburg locations, including St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (KPIE) and Albert Whitted Airport (KSPG), adding that its ects in Orlando and Melbourne will close Wednesday at noon and 2 p.m., respectively.

In Fort Myers, Page Field (KFMY) will close its runway at 8 tonight until at least Thursday morning. Vincent Wolanin, CEO of Private Sky Aviation Services at Southwest Florida International Airport (KRSW), also in Fort Myers, said AIN that as long as air traffic control directs planes to the airport, the FBO will continue to operate.

https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/business-aviation/2022-09-27/floridas-gulf-coast-battens-down-ahead-ian Florida’s Gulf Coast is ahead of Ian

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