Why Are Flights At JFK Airport Grounded? Officials Are Responding To Reports Of Gunshots
On the evening of Aug. 14, gunshots were reported at the JFK airport, prompting all flights to remain grounded until further notice. Later in the evening, the Associated Press confirmed that Port Authority had determined the reports were unfounded, as no evidence of a shooting was discovered. Joe Pentangelo, a New York and New Jersey Port Authority spokesman, reiterated the lack of evidence:
At this time, no firearm, rounds or shell casings or other evidence of shots fired has been found.
The first call to raise concerns among both travelers and authorities occurred around 9:30 p.m. ET, notifying police that shots had allegedly been heard from Terminal 8. Less than an hour later around 10:15 p.m. ET, another call reporting additional shots from Terminal 1 was received, NBC News reported. Port Authority released a statement concerning the alleged gunshots earlier in the evening.
This apparently was near the departures area. There are no reported injuries or arrests at this time, we have no actual confirmation of shots fired. As a precaution, Port Authority police are evacuating the terminal.
No injuries have been reported, though all flights have been grounded as an additional safety measure. Terminals 1 and 8 have been evacuated and remain closed. The Van Wyck Expressway has also been closed. Flights headed to the JFK airport were delayed until 11:30 p.m. ET, flight tracking company FlightAware reported. According to the website, arrival delays are lasting about an hour and departure delays are even longer. A total of 22 flights have been delayed.
Hours after flights were cancelled, authorities gave the "all-clear," CNN reported. The Port Authority released these directions for anyone flying in or out of JFK in the meantime:
This isn't the first event to delay a massive amount of airline travelers in recent weeks. On Monday, Aug. 8, all Delta flights around the nation — and around the world — were delayed because of a power outage that affected the airline's computer systems. The outage lasted a total of six hours and measures to prevent another power outage from occurring are being taken. In this case, if you are flying in or out of JFK airport, contacting your airline carrier to inquire about flight updates is the best way to deal with the temporary chaos.