Dead armadillo on the tarmac delays 43 flights at Orlando International Airport

ORLANDO, Fla. — A dead armadillo on the tarmac caused numerous flight delays Wednesday morning at Orlando International Airport, airport officials said.


A Southwest Airlines flight was arriving at the airport at about 7 a.m. when the pilots discovered that an armadillo had been previously hit on the runway.

“There was no bird strike at MCO,” an airport spokesman said in an emailed statement.

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Officials said the airport’s Airfield Ops Wildlife Division responded to the scene and removed the animal’s remains.

“Following protocol, this meant the temporary closure of the runway,” the spokesman said. “This closure occurred during one of the busiest times of the day at MCO, and its impact was further felt because of routine maintenance and construction on two other runways at the same time, resulting in only one operational runway for approximately 20 minutes.”

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The airport said 43 flights were delayed between 30 minutes to an hour.

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Jason Kelly

Jason Kelly, WFTV.com

Jason Kelly joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2014. He serves as the station's Digital Executive Producer.

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