4.8 Magnitude Earthquake Disrupts Flights At New York Airports


On Friday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) temporarily grounded flights at Newark and John F. Kennedy International Airports after a 4.8 earthquake rocked the Northeast.

The earthquake was the biggest to hit the region in 140 years. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) the epicenter of the earthquake occurred at 10:23 a.m. ET in Tewksbury, New Jersey, with a depth just shy of 3 miles. City officials say there are no reports of damage.

According to FOX News, the FAA issued an advisory informing travelers to expect possible arrival delays at Newark, LaGuardia, JFK and Teterboro airports due to the earthquake. The agency said holding patterns were expected until 4 p.m. ET with delays averaging 45 minutes and potentially increasing due to the volume of flights.

On X, the FAA said air traffic had resumed at the affected airports while real-time air traffic updates can be found at fly.faa.gov.

Amelia Walsh
Amelia Walsh is a private pilot who enjoys flying her family’s Columbia 350. She is based in Colorado and loves all things outdoors including skiing, hiking, and camping.


  1. The Californian in me chuckled at “4.8 earthquake ROCKED the Northeast” (emphasis mine).

    i.e. “Did you feel something Martha?”

    • Can you imagine if they had an equivalent Northridge, Big Bear or Loma Prieta quake !! The whole northeast would be at their psychiatrist offices 🙂

    • As a lifelong New Yawker, lemme ‘splain ‘dis 4.8 tremor. As experienced plane, helicopter and occasional Goodyear dirigible spotter in the crowded airspace of two Class B airports of KLGA and KJFK, I’m attuned to aircraft noise signatures. There were occasions when a helicopter flew overhead, low, when I ran out to look. NYC police chasing squirrels. Late nights when it’s almost impossible to discern what’s flying low, overhead, I’m too late to run out in my underwear to ID aircraft. Most likely the same police helicopter using flir chasing squirrels. After 9-11-01, NBC News reported and showed NYC police buying a newly equipped helicopter with flir and other goodies to see squirrels from 20 miles away. Last Saturday, I’m in my underwear, reading news on my pc as the latest news of noisy politics from cable TV fills my ears when I thought I heard a loud rumbling outside. Hoping it was a chance to see an MV-22 Osprey up close on its way to Sikorsky in Connecticut, I looked out my windows as the noise continued to rumble. In the past, a distant roar similar to this was by all accounts jet noise from KLGA, my best guess. The loud rumbling quieted down and 30 minutes later, one of several emergency alerts came over my cellphone, about the same time on TV. What good was an emergency alert 30 minutes after an earthquake was detected in neighboring NJ?! ‘Dats my account and still disappointed not seeing an MV-22 fly by.

        • I live in the mountains east of Albuquerque (Kirtland AFB) and V-22s fly over the house at maybe 1,500′ AGL (8,500′ MSL) routinely. They’re really noisy probably sounding like a 4.something earth quake.

  2. California regularly gets aftershocks of 4+ following a big quake. In their defense, the eastern bedrock formations are older and more dense, so the quake can be felt over a larger area. The New York/New Jersey area sees minor shocks every few years, but a “big one” is unlikely. Now, if the New Madrid fault down between Memphis and St. Louis ever lets go, it will literally be the big one. It has a return period of 450-600 years, and the last one was in 1812, so hopefully it will be a while.

  3. 30 miles west of the Tewksbury epicenter, near Belfast Pa, the 4.8 earthquake was incredibly rythmic, sounding like a close formation of Hueys passing over the house at about 20 feet. Table lamps were doing little dances on the end table, so I went outside to see if someone on approach to 24 at ABE got a bit low. ( I was 13 miles NE of the airport.)
    Seeing nothing in the sky, I realized I had just witnessed an earthquake. Later that evening, a 4.0 aftershock hit, and the difference in intensity was amazing! I might not have noticed the 4.) if the deer in my yard hadn’t suddenly gone on alert and started looking around suspiciously.