ARLINGTON COUNTY, Va. (DC News Now) — For the second day in a row, the haze in the sky from wildfires in Canada affected some flights along the East Coast because of airspace visibility.
Two flights from Reagan National Airport in Arlington County to LaGuardia Airport in New York that initially were on time, ended up being delayed on Thursday morning.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) tweeted that it would manage traffic flow safely into several airports including those in the Washington, D.C. area.
The FAA’s National Airspace System Status put a ground delay at LaGuardia until 10 a.m., meaning departures to LaGuardia were delayed by an average of 54 minutes.
The low visibility was why the FAA slowed traffic to New York airports on Thursday, as well as a day earlier.
Although some passengers at Reagan National Airport were not worried about the impact on their flights, others paid close attention to the conditions.
“And as I’m watching the sun come up, you can see the atmosphere. It’s like a lot more gray, and I mean, I can’t really see what’s beyond those planes,” said Andrea Pratt, who was flying to Hawaii. “I’m hoping that the planes can see everything and it doesn’t impact travel too much in safety, but you can definitely, with your own senses, see and smell that there’s a lot of stuff in the atmosphere.”
Lynette Short and Cathy Joyner sat in the lobby of the airport waiting to go through security for their flight to New York before they continued on to France.
“When we got a text this morning. I was a little concerned, explained Short. “Her mother texted us because she had been hearing the news. So, that was a bit of a concern that flights may be delayed and we don’t get to France when we have to.”
“I don’t want to get stuck getting nervous and upset. I mean, I want to take this moment by moment and wait to see what the FAA is doing. I don’t want to start anticipating the worst. I want to keep a positive outlook because I’m excited. I’m going to France. I’m thrilled,” Joyner said.
Jared Michelson, whos final destination was Budapest, didn’t seem to be bothered by the haze in the air Thursday.
“The planes pretty much have like all these sensors and stuff like that that allow themselves to fly and navigate really without the need for a pilot’s visibility. These guys can do that at night, even in pitch-black situations. So I’m not really too concerned about that at all,” said Michelson.
Most of the flights out of Reagan National Airport were on time. Airports, generally, reminded passengers to check their flight status before heading to them.