The FAA stopped all inbound flights to Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) Runway 22R for 45 minutes at 5 p.m. local time today after two drones were spotted 17 miles away at approximately 3,500 feet between EWR and Teterboro Airport (TEB). That position and altitude put the drones directly in the approach path for arrivals at Newark.
Flights yet to takeoff and inbound to Newark were ground stopped for a longer period, until 6:45 p.m. local time, out of an abundance of caution and to clear a backlog created by the delay, according to the FAA. Overall, the disruption due to the drone sightings delayed arrivals throughout the region by up to 30 minutes. By 7 p.m. local time, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey tweeted that operations at Newark had returned to normal.
“We’re coordinating with the FAA and fully supporting all federal law enforcement authorities as they investigate this incident,” the authority said. A New Jersey State Police helicopter was dispatched to search for the drones. An aircraft in the area at the time reported seeing one of the drones approximately 30 feet off its right wingtip.