Flight delays hit East Coast as smoke blankets region

The FAA delayed a spate of flights heading into New York amid severe smoke flowing in from wildfires in eastern Canada.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) delayed flights into the New York area due to wildfire smoke from Canada continuing to cloud the region. Flights into New York City and Newark, N.J. were delayed, and the FAA temporarily stopped flights headed for Philadelphia International Airport and LaGuardia Airport.

Driving the news: The FAA’s air traffic report states that the wildfire smoke may cause delays Thursday across eight airports in New York, Philadelphia, Washington and Charlotte, N.C.


  • The FAA also delayed departures to Newark International Airport, which had an average delay time of 34 minutes.
  • The FAA issued a ground stop for LaGuardia on Wednesday night due to reduced visibility from wildfire smoke.

What they’re saying: Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement that “Smoke from Canada’s wildfires is affecting visibility in our airspace and leading to delays. The FAA is fully prepared to modify operations as needed.”

  • The FAA said in a statement on Thursday that “We will likely need to take steps to manage the flow of traffic safely into New York City, DC, Philadelphia and Charlotte.”
  • More than 400 wildfires in Canada have prompted air quality warnings across parts of the United States this week, with many areas reporting “very unhealthy” or “hazardous” levels of air quality.
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