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Tampa International and St. Pete-Clearwater airports set to reopen Friday

The airports shuttered Tuesday due to the impending arrival of Hurricane Ian.
Passengers check themselves in at a ticketing area Tuesday at the Tampa International Airport. The airport will reopen today.
Passengers check themselves in at a ticketing area Tuesday at the Tampa International Airport. The airport will reopen today. [ JEFFEREE WOO | Times ]
Published Sep. 29|Updated Sep. 29

TAMPA — Both of Tampa Bay’s airports will reopen Friday after shuttering during Hurricane Ian, they announced Thursday morning.

Tampa International Airport, which ceased commercial flights at 5 p.m. Tuesday, will reopen commercial operations 10 a.m. Friday. Parking facilities, the rental car center and Transportation Security Administration security checkpoints will be open to serve departing passengers who arrive early for their flights.

Passengers need to call their airlines — not the airport — to inquire about flight updates, according to a news release.

St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport did not specify an opening time but said the airport terminal and parking lots would resume service Friday morning. Hurricane Ian caused “no significant damage” to the facilities, according to spokesperson Michele Routh. The airport terminal building closed at 1 p.m. Tuesday.

At Tampa International, airport maintenance and operations staff began inspecting the airfield and facilities Thursday morning and determined the airport “did not sustain any serious damage during the storm,” according to a news release. The airport reported a few roof leaks as of Thursday afternoon.

“We feel very lucky to have come out on the other side of this largely unscathed and are eager to restart operations after such a fraught and anxious week,” Tampa International CEO Joe Lopano said in a prepared statement. Lopano spent the storm at the airport, just as he did for Hurricane Irma in 2017, along with a team of volunteer storm riders — approximately 120 employees with specialty expertise who have trained for such an event.

“We can now continue serving as an important resource for our travelers and community, and begin helping our fellow Floridians in their time of need,” he added.

• • •

Tampa Bay Times Hurricane coverage

TAMPA BAY CLOSURES: What to know about bridges, roads in Ian’s aftermath

WHEN THE STORM HAS PASSED: Now what? Safety tips for returning home.

POST-STORM QUESTIONS: After Hurricane Ian, how to get help with fallen trees, food, damaged shelter.

WEATHER EFFECTS: Hurricane Ian was supposed to slam Tampa Bay head on. What happened?

WHAT TO DO IF HURRICANE DAMAGES YOUR HOME: Stay calm, then call your insurance company.

SCHOOLS: Will schools reopen quickly after Hurricane Ian passes? It depends.

SELF-CARE: Protect your mental health during a hurricane.

IT’S STORM SEASON: Get ready and stay informed at tampabay.com/hurricane.

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