Salt Lake City Airport (IATA: SLC) in Utah, United States, was closed for several hours following a 5.7 magnitude earthquake near the city.
The airport was evacuated because of equipment outages shortly after being hit by the earthquake. The road leading to the airport was temporarily closed but reopened shortly after.
The airport is not currently operational. The FAA tower, terminals and concourses have been evacuated. The road to the airport has been opened, so that passengers can be picked-up.
— SaltLakeCityAirport (@slcairport) March 18, 2020
The 5.7 magnitude earthquake at 7:09 am local time this morning was the strongest in the US state since 1992. It could reportedly be felt in northern Utah, as well as parts of Idaho and Wyoming.
Flights en-route to Salt Lake City were diverted away or returned to their departure points. The airport was closed for almost eight hours, before reopening for regular departures at 2:54 pm local time.
Flights continuing to divert away from Salt Lake City Airport and the airport remains closed following an earthquake earlier this morning. https://t.co/ItrTCBSPg3 pic.twitter.com/YRYW1y9WxP
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) March 18, 2020
Salt Lake City Airport handled more than 26 million passengers in 2019 and is a hub for Delta Air Lines.
Air traffic volume and passenger load factors are currently lower than usual, due to the impact of Coronavirus on the airline industry, including in the United States. All major US-based airlines have already made or at least announced significant temporary cuts to their flight operations, including Delta, which is cutting its schedule by at least 40%.
Jakob Wert is an aviation journalist from Germany. He built up the website IFN.news and is the Editor-In-Chief of International Flight Network.