Detroit Metro Airport reopens after closing over weather

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News
Virginia Selvaggio, 59,  of Clinton Township along with her husband Steve, 59, and son Anthony, 32, (cap on), wait in line to check-in at Detroit Metropolitan Airport after their flight to Orlando was delayed two hours because of the weather on Wednesday,  January 23, 2019 in Romulus.

Detroit Metro Airport reopened at about 10 a.m. Wednesday after closing at 8 p.m. the night before because of icy conditions, officials said.

They said the airport's fourth and final primary runway reopened at about 12:15 p.m. 

"We are grateful for the work of our maintenance and operations teams, airline partners, the Federal Aviation Administration, National Weather Service and most importantly our customers for their patience,” officials said in a statement.

The airport closed at about 8 p.m. Tuesday because of icy conditions. It said crews worked around the clock to clear the airfield, but the constant rate of precipitation rendered de-icing fluid ineffective. However, as the weather warmed up through Wednesday morning, the airport was able to reopen taxiways and runways. 

Detroit Metro Airport in Romulus was closed around 8 p.m. Jan. 22, 2019. It reopened the next day, 14 hours later.

Joe Simon, a 46-year-old Detroit resident, was headed Wednesday to Los Angeles for a business meeting when he found his Delta flight was delayed. 

“I guess I’ll just sit in the lounge, do some work and read the paper,” he said. “Not much else to do.”

Joe Simon, 46 of Detroit found his 1:40 pm Delta flight to Los Angeles delayed on Jan 23, 2019.

Henn Liu, 25, had his Delta layover flight from Beijing, China, to Cincinnati delayed or canceled several times.

“Two times they canceled my flights to Cincinnati, and the new flight they gave me has been delayed twice today,” said Liu, who said he’s going to business school in Cincinnati. “I rented a Jeep, so I’ll just drive around and try to relax until the flight is ready to leave.”

More: Weather, airport closure delay Red Wings' return to Detroit

More: Wintry mix causes rough Wed. commute in Metro Detroit

Detroit Metro Airport in Romulus was closed Jan. 22-23 due to ice, snow and freezing rain. The airport reopened after 14 hours.

The airport had 214 delays and 148 cancellations on Tuesday, according to The website listed 211 delays and 192 cancellations at 10 a.m. when the airport reopened Wednesday. 

Michele Sturt, 60, said Wednesday she was unable to rent a car — meaning she’s delayed getting back to her home in Pellston, where she parked her car at Pellston Regional Airport before flying to Los Angeles to see her children.

“It’s a drag,” she said. “I’ve got to work in the morning, and don’t know how I’m going to get back home in time. I got on a plane at 8 (a.m.) this morning, and then got off because the flight (to Pellston Regional Airport) was rebooked for this afternoon. Then it was cancelled. So I can’t fly back until tomorrow. I tried to rent a car but I was told all the rental places are closed until tonight. I guess I’m stuck here for now.”

Staff writer George Hunter contributed