Plan for delays this summer at Fort Lauderdale airport as runway undergoes makeover

North runway to remain closed for up to 120 days

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The north runway at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is now closed for up to 120 days, and that will likely mean fewer passengers going through the airport.

It has been 15 years since the runway got a facelift.

"It was about time that it needed to be done," FLL spokeswoman Arlene Satchell said. 

The north runway rehabilitation promises safety light, drainage and structural improvements to what was the oldest runway at the airport.

"During the peak periods, there could be some delays," Satchell said.  

While the plan looks great, having only one functional runway for the summer comes with some headaches for travelers and pilots.

"Just be aware that this activity is going on and plan in advance," Satchell said. 

That means planning for delays.

Satchell recommends planning for longer layovers for connecting travelers so a delay won't ruin your trip and keeping tabs on your flight through your airline's app, website and social media.

Airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration are also doing their parts to streamline the summer struggle.

"The airlines basically looked at ways that they could reduce frequencies," Satchell said. 

Satchell said some airlines are scheduling fewer daily flights, meaning less time on the runway. But the flights that do take off are much bigger than ones usually seen in the summer out of Fort Lauderdale. 

"In general, it seems to be working," Satchell said.  

From delay woes to headaches, airport construction isn't known for being quiet.

"There is an elevated noise level for some communities, and for that, it's a matter of bearing with us," Satchell said. 

About the Author: