Smoke from wildfires in major cities across the eastern United States disrupted air travel on Thursday, creating headaches for major airline hubs and upending plans for thousands of travelers.
At least 415 flights across the country were delayed and eight were canceled as of Thursday afternoon, according to flight tracking service FlightAware.com.
Follow live coverage of US air quality levels and Canada’s wildfires
Federal Aviation Administration said Thursday morning Nationwide delayed all flights to New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport. It also delayed some flights to New York’s LaGuardia Airport.
John F. of Charlotte, North Carolina, Dallas, Philadelphia, and New York City. Kennedy International Airport may also experience delays, the agency warned.
FlightAware’s “MiseryMap” showed LaGuardia and Denver International Airport as seeing the most significant disruptions as of 1 p.m. ET Thursday.
In a statement, the FAA said “decreased visibility from wildfire smoke will require measures to safely manage traffic to New York City, DC, Philadelphia and Charlotte.”
In a video on Twitter, the FAA’s Sam Aspie explained, “When aircraft approach airports, they must slow down to maintain safety, check runways and taxiways, so delays may occur. That.”
The agency said its travel advisories will change as weather conditions develop throughout the day.
Air quality was hazardous in several major cities along the East Coast on Thursday. New York City’s air quality was 183 on the Air Quality Index scale, 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, at 121 on the index.
This is a growing story. Update for updates.