After last year’s close call with Hurricane Ian, Tampa International Airport (TPA) has been working hard to get ready for the 2023 hurricane season.
The airport closed in September before Ian’s arrival, which was expected to impact Tampa Bay. The fact that the storm abruptly made landfall near Fort Myers emphasizes the value of being ready for the worst.
“The unpredictable nature of storms is something we recognize as a risk and our goal is to always err on the side of caution and safety,” TPA Vice President of Operations Adam Bouchard said. “Shifts in storms at the very last moment can have devastating consequences, and we strive to always be prepared for the worst.”
When planning for any storm, TPA puts the safety of its personnel, partners, and customers first, according to Bouchard. Key considerations include preserving the facilities and getting ready to reopen as soon as possible.
This year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s projection, there will be 12 to 17 named storms, five to nine hurricanes, and up to four Category 3 or higher hurricanes.
While modifications to air travel plans over the summer can be annoying, there are some suggestions from airport officials on how to best plan for any event:
Check the forecast: Before you leave for the airport, make sure to check the weather forecast for the entire duration of your trip—both here and where you’re going. That will help you determine whether there might be issues and whether you might be in a storm’s path.
Call the airline: If it appears that your flight may be impacted, get in touch with your airline as soon as possible. They will be able to provide you with the most recent details regarding how the situation is affecting your journey. When hundreds of customers are trying to be rebooked at once, using the phone is frequently slower than using your airline’s app or online chat option, so be aware if it exists.
Be an early bird: The return of inclement weather to the Tampa Bay area coincides with hurricane season. These occasionally severe thunderstorms, which can result in delays and cancellations, typically begin in the afternoon. Try to book your flights earlier in the day, before the rains really start, if you want to avoid them.
Make a plan: If there are any anticipated delays or cancellations, have a plan in place for your family, pets, property, and more in case you are unable to reach your destination without difficulty
Check Twitter: If a hurricane or tropical storm poses a threat to Tampa International, the airport will release the most recent information on Twitter at twitter.com/FlyTPA. Updates will also be made at tampaairport.com.
Be patient: Everyone hates when bad weather spoils trip plans, so try not to vent your frustration on other people. Please keep in mind that the airline and airport workers are attempting to assist you as well as everyone else.