Flights disrupted in New York, Philadelphia due to Canadian wildfire smoke

A view from the top of Rockefeller Center as haze and smoke caused by wildfires in Canada hang over the Manhattan skyline in New York City, June 7, 2023. -Reuters

Flights in the New York City area and Philadelphia faced disruptions on Wednesday due to reduced visibility caused by wildfire smoke originating from Canada. Some flights were delayed, while others experienced temporary halts as a result.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) took measures to manage the situation, including slowing down air traffic. However, the FAA lifted the ground stop on flights from the upper Midwest and East Coast bound for New York’s LaGuardia International Airport in the afternoon.

Philadelphia International Airport also faced reduced visibility from the wildfire smoke, leading to the FAA implementing traffic slowdowns for flights from the East Coast and Midwest bound for the airport. The FAA reported an average delay of 29 minutes for affected flights.

Major airlines, such as United and Delta, were making adjustments to their schedules to accommodate the disruptions. United, the largest carrier in Newark, stated that it would adapt its schedule as necessary. Meanwhile, Delta, the largest carrier at LaGuardia, expressed that it did not anticipate any cancellations due to the visibility issues at the moment.

The extensive forest fires in Canada have resulted in a widespread haze of smoky air, triggering health concerns in various cities across the United States.

Notably, Newark Airport experienced delays averaging 82 minutes, while LaGuardia faced ground delays of around two hours and departure delays of approximately 30 minutes. The New York City area, known for having the busiest airspace in the United States, was particularly impacted by the disrupted flight operations.

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