Inside Look at How the Orlando Airport Prepares for a Tropical Storm

If you’ll be traveling to the Orlando area during hurricane season, it’s critical that you know what to expect and how to prepare.

Rainy Day in Magic Kingdom

Hurricane season generally takes place from June 1st through November 30th. In 2022, the season brought a large amount of flooding to Orlando through Hurricane Ian, and once again impacted the Orlando area with Tropical Storm Nicole. One key thing that can be impacted by storms is the Orlando International Airport. We’ve seen the airport CLOSE due to recent storms, but what exactly does this spot do to prepare for bad weather? We’ve got an inside look!

In November of 2022, Tropical Storm Nicole impacted parts of Florida, causing early closures of the Disney World theme parks and other closures throughout Orlando.

Stormy winds

If you were planning to fly into Orlando, Tropical Storm Nicole would have caused a LOT of headaches. Due to the storm, Orlando International Airport ceased all operations at 4PM (ET) on November 9th and shared that operations would resume at an undetermined time after the storm had passed.

On the morning of November 10th, MCO shared that commercial flight operations were still halted. As of 11AM that day, they shared that the order remained in effect and individuals should NOT come to the airport until a “definitive time is given” for when they’d resume operations.

Orlando International Airport

Aside from an airport closure, you might be wondering just what the airport does to prepare for a storm. Well, now they’ve shared details on just that!

On November 9th, 2022, MCO shared (via Twitter and a press release) that they were making preparations to “ensure the safety of…staff, travelers & facilities” ahead of the storm.

©Orlando International Airport

As part of those preparations, the jet bridges were actually being tied down. As tropical storms (or hurricanes) can come with some strong winds, this action can help keep the bridges in place and prevent them from moving around too much and causing damage (or getting damaged).

©Orlando International Airport

In addition, the ticket counters were covered for “security and protection.” 

©Orlando International Airport

Specifically, they noted that they would be “covering sensitive electronic equipment in the terminal.” If a storm causes any water leaks, flooding, flying debris, etc. these covers can help to protect sensitive electronics (at least partially).

©Orlando International Airport

In addition to the steps above, the Orlando International Airport noted that the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority Emergency Operations Center at the airport was active and would go into “full activation mode.”

Aviation Authority personnel remain in contact with airlines to monitor the storm and judge when operations can resume. There are also ongoing communications with city, county, and emergency management officials. Communication was also ongoing with the National Weather Service/National Hurricane Center.

Airport (When Open — Photo from September 2022)

In addition to all of the above, the team at MCO also works on removing debris from the area.

There is also a designated number of staff members (from the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority) that remain inside the terminal throughout the storm as the “ride-out crew.” They assess any damage and help get the airport ready to reopen as quickly as possible after the storm has left.

©Orlando International Airport

Near 11:55AM on November 10th, MCO shared that the crews were in the process of assessing the inside facilities for damage and would then move outside (as the weather improved) to assess any damage there.

©Orlando International Airport

If you are traveling to Orlando ahead of a storm, be sure to check for updates from the airport as to any closures, delays, cancelations, etc. If you encounter any cancelations, contact your individual airline or rental car company for questions about refunds or rescheduling.

Keep in mind that the Orlando International Airport is not an authorized shelter, so passengers will need to make personal accommodations ahead of any storms.

Orlando International Airport

Disney World’s theme parks have reopened following Tropical Storm Nicole, and you can see our updates from INSIDE the parks here.

For more help with planning a trip during Hurricane season, click the stories below:

Stay tuned for more news.

Travel Updates, Tips, and Tricks

Have you ever been to Disney World during a bad storm? Tell us in the comments!

The post Inside Look at How the Orlando Airport Prepares for a Tropical Storm first appeared on the disney food blog.


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