Concourse A at JIA reopens after heavy smoke

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Heavy smoke shut down Concourse A at Jacksonville International Airport for about two hours Tuesday morning after a malfunction on one of the moving sidewalks.

According to the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, a report of heavy black smoke came from the moving sidewalk motor inside the concourse. Mechanics from the airport were called to repair the motor while crews worked to clear the smoke.

During the closure, passengers from Concourse A were moved down to Concourse C.

One passenger who saw the smoke said the smell was strong, and it became hard to see.

"Visibility at 100 feet, it just fell off at that point. It looked like New England fog. At 100 feet, it fell off to where you can only see another 50 feet. (What was that smell like?) Plastic. If you've smelled plastic burning, there's nothing else like it," said Doc Hogan.

Passengers headed to Jacksonville International Airport were encouraged to check the status of their flight. The airport posted the following on its Twitter page:

Moving walkway in Con A had malfunction causing fire/smoke. JFRD on scene. Until smoke is cleared, security checkpoint closed and passengers moved to Con C. Check flight status with airline before coming to airport.

Delta, United Airlines, JetBlue, and Silver Airways all fly out of Concourse A. Concourse C includes American Airlines, Southwest, Air Canada, and Allegiant.

Long lines formed at the security checkpoint early Tuesday around 7 a.m. The airport re-opened Concourse A and check-in around 8 a.m. once the smoke was cleared.

The fire did delay several flights departing and arriving to the airport.

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