The wildfire smoke that has cast a sickly pall over major cities across the eastern United States snarled air travel Thursday, creating headaches for big aviation hubs and upending plans for thousands of travelers.
The Federal Aviation Administration said Thursday morning that it had delayed all flights bound for New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport nationwide. It also grounded departures to Philadelphia International Airport due to low visibility and delayed certain flights bound for New York’s LaGuardia Airport.
More than 230 flights across the country were delayed and another 10 were canceled as of Thursday morning, according to FlightAware.com, a flight tracking service.
FlightAware’s “MiseryMap” showed that Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport were seeing the most significant disruptions as of 9 a.m. ET Thursday.
In a statement, the FAA said it would “likely need to take steps to manage the flow of traffic safely into New York City, D.C., Philadelphia and Charlotte due to reduced visibility from wildfire smoke.”
The agency said that its travel advisories would change as weather conditions evolve throughout the day.
In many major cities along the East Coast on Thursday, the air quality was hazardous. New York City’s air quality was 183 on the air quality index scale, making it the worst in the world, according to IQAir.com, a Swiss monitoring service.
Detroit had the fourth-worst air quality in the world as of 9:30 a.m. ET, hovering around 121 on the index.
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