Air traffic in Florida is reaching new levels as people in the state try to escape before Hurricane Irma hits.
Airports in the state, including Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Key West International Airport, will begin shutting down Friday afternoon and will remain closed Saturday and Sunday. Orlando International Airport plans to cease operations by 5:00 p.m. on Saturday.
While Miami International Airport has not officially announced its closing, many airlines are ceasing operations at the airport Friday afternoon.
As the shutdown approaches, airlines are trying to get as many people out as possible by reshuffling resources to add more flights out of Florida.
Since Wednesday, Delta has added 5,000 seats and an extra 24 flights servicing Florida and parts of the Caribbean. American Airlines added 3,600 seats and 16 extra flights out of Miami. Both airlines have also capped ticket prices to make them more affordable for people in Florida.
All of the extra flights, though, are causing some heavy air traffic and some significant delays.
Flights out of Miami and Fort Lauderdale were delayed about an hour Friday around noon, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
Between Miami and Orlando alone, there were some 180 Florida-bound flights as of 11:30 ET Friday morning and some 332 departures, most of which were heading north, according to Flightradar 24.
A lot of the air traffic out of Florida was coming from Miami, which is currently in the path of the storm.
Hurricane Irma — now a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 150 mph — is slated to hit South Florida by late Saturday or early Sunday.
Here’s an image that shows how many planes were trying to get into Florida Friday morning.
And here’s a picture that shows how much flight traffic there was trying to get out of Florida.
180 flights currently bound for Florida airports between Miami and Orlando. #Irma
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