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Airports in Florida

  • Published: 2009-01-28 (Revised/Updated 2015-03-07) : Author: Mairead Foley
  • Synopsis: Brief guide to the major airports in Florida including Orlando International Airport and Tampa International Airport.

There are approximately 20 commercial service airports and over 70 municipal/regional airports in Florida. Here's a guide to some of the major airports...

Orlando International Airport (MCO) is one of the busiest airports in the world and is located right in the heart of Florida just about 14 kms to the southeast of downtown Orlando.

Many airlines fly direct to this airport; from Dublin with Aer Lingus; from London Gatwick with British Airways; from Glasgow, Gatwick and Manchester with Virgin Atlantic; from Frankfurt with Lufthansa; and of course many American airlines fly internally.

Orlando is sometimes known as the theme park capital of the world as many of Florida's main theme parks are in the Orlando area including Disney's Magic Kingdom, Sea World, Universal Studios Resort, the Kennedy Space Center, and a few water parks as well such as Wet'n'Wild and Typhoon Lagoon.

Tampa International Airport (TPA) is located on the west coast, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, just at the edge of Tampa city, about 10km west of the city center.

The airport is well served by the primary airlines; these include British Airways which flies from Gatwick; and KLM which flies from Amsterdam, Bremen, Brussels, Dusseldorf and Eindhoven.

Tampa has plenty to keep you entertained such as Hillsborough River State Park, Adventure Island, Lowry Park Zoo, Florida Aquarium, and Busch Gardens Africa, a zoo/theme park blend which has the best roller coasters in Florida such as Kumba and SheiKra that features a vertical drop.

On the south west coast you'll find the hot-spot of Miami. It's home to Florida's busiest airport Miami International Airport (MIA) which serves the most destinations of any airport in the region.

The airport is located just 12kms from the city center and is very convenient to Miami's main expressways such as the Dolphin Expressway (the I95 which runs the length of Florida's east coast) and the Palmetto Expressway (to Miami Beach).

The airport is served by British Airways and Virgin Atlantic which fly from Heathrow; Iberia Airlines which flies from Madrid; Martinair which flies from Amsterdam; Air Berlin from Dusseldorf and Munich; Lufthansa from Dusseldorf and Frankfurt; and Swiss International Air Lines from Zurich.

The airport is definitely the preferred destination if you are wishing to explore southern Florida where you will find the Everglades National Park and the Florida Keys (an archipelago of over 1700 just off the coast of Florida).

Situated on the east coast north of Miami is Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) which is another excellent entry point to southern Florida. The airport is located between the cities of Fort Lauderdale to the north and Hollywood to the south.

Jacksonville International Airport is the main airport located in Northern Florida. The airport is just 14kms from Jacksonville city center, which is Florida's largest city. Delta Airlines flies here from Heathrow. From Jacksonville you can explore the city of St. Augustine, the college town of Gainesville and experience the general 'Southern' culture of the area.

For the Florida Panhandle (north east of Florida) you can touch down in Tallahassee, the state capital of Florida. The airport for Tallahassee is a regional airport, so you will have to get a connection in another US airport first.

One of the top destinations in this area is the Panama City Beach, popular with students on spring break.

Note that there are many more airports throughout Florida which may get you closer to your chosen destination; but you'll almost certainly have to get there through a connecting flight. So watch for these smaller airports while researching your destination.

Reference: Mairead Foley writes for where you can book car hire at airports, ferry ports, rail stations, cities and towns all over the world. Visit for all you need to know before you take to the roads in America, like where to go and what to see with your car hire.

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