FAA Shut Down Inbound LaGuardia Flights Due to Canadian Wildfires

by Anthony Losanno
NYC Smog

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The The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a ground stop today as haze from Canadian wildfires caused the New York area to look like a scene from Bladerunner. All inbound flights to LaGuardia were eventually able to resume operations around 2:00 PM EST, but 365 flights were already delayed and an additional were 27 cancelled.

NYC Flatiron

Smoke drifting from the 420+ wildfires in Canada has turned the skies over New York City a smoky shade of orange. Health officials are urging NYC residents to stay indoors whenever possible. The air quality is expected to remain unhealthy until at least Thursday. New York City ranked worst in the world for air quality today. The IQAir World Air Quality Index gave it a rank of 342, which is considered a health risk equal to smoking six cigarettes. New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC, should see their air quality improve today, but the air in Boston, Pittsburgh, and cities as far south as Raleigh is expected to get worse.

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The ground stop was lifted around 3:00 PM EST, but flights to LaGuardia have been delayed 120 minutes on average. Some flights are being held at their origin airports in order to ease congestion. The FAA issued a ground delay at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) as the skies there are currently a similar eerie shade. There is an average delay of over 80 minutes at EWR due to low visibility. John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) has luckily not been impacted.

Anthony’s Take: It’s crazy to see the impact of these wildfires on US flights. I can only imagine how brutal this has to be for Canadian residents, especially the 120,000+ who have had to evacuate their homes. Hopefully, these fires will be brought under control in the near term.

(Featured Photo Credit: ABC7.)

(Flatiron Photo Credit: Tracy Scheibel.)

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