- Canadian wildfire smoke dramatically reduces visibility, prompting potential flight delays across Eastern U.S.
- The FAA anticipates strategic traffic management in major cities including New York City, Washington DC, Philadelphia, and Charlotte.
- Over 800 flights within the U.S. already delayed by 9:15 a.m. ET on Thursday, with LaGuardia experiencing an 8% delay in its departures.
As the aftereffects of wildfires from Canada seep into American skies, airports across the Eastern United States brace for possible disruption on Thursday. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has voiced concerns over potential flight delays, reminiscent of the hundreds that took place the previous day due to dwindling visibility.
The FAA anticipates the necessity to impose regulations in order to manage flight traffic in a safe manner, specifically into cities that bear the brunt of the smoke, such as New York City, Washington DC, Philadelphia, and Charlotte in North Carolina. The consequent reduction in visibility due to the wildfire smoke necessitates these precautions.
Philadelphia International Airport, caught in the smoke's path, had to momentarily halt inbound traffic until 9:15 a.m., as announced by the FAA. This suspension underlines the degree to which these wildfires are impacting regular operations.
LaGuardia Airport in New York and Newark Liberty International Airport nearby also experienced repercussions. On Wednesday, heavy smoke led to a multitude of flight delays. At one point, the FAA had to suspend all incoming traffic into LaGuardia during the day due to the severity of the conditions.
As Thursday began, by 9:15 a.m. Eastern Time, the number of delayed flights across the U.S., either departing from, arriving to, or within the country, had already surpassed 800, according to flight tracking service, FlightAware. Particularly impacted was LaGuardia Airport, which had close to 50 departures delayed - a staggering 8% of the scheduled flights.
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