Smoke Pouring From Wildfires Snarls Air Travel in and Out of NYC

  • Wildfire smoke has prompted ground stops and delays at Newark and LaGuardia airports in New York.
  • Visibility is as low as 5 miles in Queens, per the National Weather Service.
  • The smoke is being carried south from more than 420 fires across Canada.

Thick smoke from enormous wildfires burning across Canada poured into the northeastern U.S. on June 7, reducing visibility and prompting the FAA to slow or stop flights into LaGuardia Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport.

“The FAA has taken steps to manage the flow of traffic into the New York City area due to reduced visibility from wildfire smoke,” FAA spokesperson told Insider.

“The agency will adjust the volume of traffic to account for the rapidly changing conditions.”

Both Newark and LaGuardia were on ground stops on Wednesday afternoon, meaning all inbound flights were halted. Both airports are now operating with ground delays. So far, John F. Kennedy International Airport remains unaffected.

The FAA’s National Airspace System Status site showed average delays of over 80 minutes at Newark, and nearly two hours at LaGuardia as of 2:19 pm ET.

The smoke was from huge wildfires encompassing more than 420 fires across Canada, including massive blazes in northern Quebec.

Weather conditions carried the smoke hundreds of miles into the U.S., blanketing cities across the northeast from New York to Maryland in a thick haze. According to the National Weather Service, visibility was reduced to 5 miles Queens and a little as 4 miles in Newark.

“A real joy to be experience my own NY smoke journey,” tweeted one traveler at Newark, posting a picture of the haze on the tarmac.

Another traveler tweeted a “surreal” video of a landing at LaGuardia airport through thick, yellow haze at roughly 12:45 pm ET on Wednesday.

Updated at 6/7/2023 at 2:23 pm ET to reflect new FAA statements and current conditions.

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