MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Flying out of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is going to be rough for the next three months or so.
Planes are lining up on the South Runway at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International airport. That’s because the north runway, 10 left, looks like one massive construction zone.
“This was an old naval training base,” explained FLL spokesman Greg Meyer. “It goes back to World War II, portions of the north runway date back to 1943 when torpedo bombers were operating here.
The 9,000-foot runway’s old and parts of it were crumbling, Meyer explains.
A $90 million project will bring it up to speed, but it could take up to 3 months. That means that every flight, from every airline, will have to use just one runway.
Seth Kaplan’s an airline analyst. “Even on a good day, it’s going to take some patience,” he said. “That departure time, that’s the time they’re hoping to push back from the gate. That doesn’t mean you’re going to be in the air these days just two or three minutes later.”
He warns, especially during peak times, passengers should be ready to sit on the plane a little longer before take-off, waiting their turn to leave, as other flights land, all sharing the same space. And when summer storms halt traffic, you can expect backups. “It takes us longer to recover after a storm for example,” said Meyer.
“Before we had the runway closed we would deploy flights on both runways in sequence and we would clean up a back up in 10-15 minutes. Now it may us up to an hour maybe more depending o the volume of traffic here at the airport,” he said.
Travel experts advise if you have a connecting flight either here or somewhere else be sure to factor in extra time in case of an arrival or departure delay from FLL. “How close if your connection?” We asked traveler, Brandi Mason. “50 minutes in Atlanta,” she said, “so that’s not going to be good.
Karla Santos is traveling Thursday. She said, “make adjustments. If people just have the right mindset and positive approach you can make it thru anything. It’s not that bad.”
Construction is expected to last until last September, however, the construction company can earn financial incentives by finishing early.
Several airlines tell us they have adjusted their schedules to move some flights away from peak time periods when there may be more congestion.