Delta flight 2298 landed at Sarasota Bradenton International Airport at 10:20 a.m. Tuesday from Atlanta, making it the first arrival at SRQ since Hurricane Irma shut down airport operations on Saturday.
The first arriving flights after the storm were planned for Monday evening, but those flights were scrubbed because air traffic control was not available at Tampa International Airport, said Rick Piccolo, CEO president of SRQ.
“There were 43 people who wanted to get on this flight that didn’t,” passenger Simon Williams of Sarasota said of the full flight as he waited for his luggage.
“Just good timing,” Williams said of getting booked on the first returning flight.
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I am happy to be here since I’m visiting friends. I’m glad that they are safe and everything is great down here for them.
Michael Wah, arriving passenger on Delta flight 2298
Kathy Martella of Lakewood Ranch also arrived on Flight 2298.
“We feel lucky to be on this flight,” said Martella, who was returning to an undamaged home that never lost power.
Michael Wah was also happy to be on Flight 2298.
“I am happy to be here since I’m visiting friends. I’m glad that they are safe and everything is great down here for them. The flight was easy, it was smooth – it wasn’t choppy at all. It was real good,” Wah said.
Sarasota Bradenton International is projecting a normal schedule on Wednesday for JetBlue and Delta, and American Airlines will resume a normal schedule with the arrival of flight 5139 at 11:39 a.m.
“We’ll be up and running with a full slate by (Wednesday),” Piccolo said.
All concessions and rental car companies are open at the airport.
Aside from downed trees and a nonfunctioning traffic light at the entrance, there was little evidence that Irma had recently blown through the airport property.
Around the state
Now that Hurricane Irma has passed, here are plans for reopening and resuming commercial flights at some of the major airports around the Sunshine State.
All passengers are advised to contact their airline for updates:
- Tampa International: Flights resumed Tuesday with limited operations, with a gradual return to a full schedule in the coming days.
- St. Pete-Clearwater International: Closed since Friday, the airport is scheduled to resume flights on Wednesday.
- Orlando International: Flights were scheduled to resume Tuesday based on airline and personnel availability.
- Miami International: The state’s largest airport resumed operations Tuesday on a limited basis.
- Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International: Like Miami International, the Broward County airport resumed operations Tuesday on a limited basis.
- Southwest Florida International: Officials at the Fort Myers airport said an announcement on returning to normal operations would come once power was restored.