See How Storm Stella Stalled Flights this Week

On Tuesday, 14 March air traffic ground to a halt in the northeast United States as winter storm ‘Stella’ dumped snow (or threatened to) on cities from Washington DC through Maine. For 12 hours on Tuesday, between 4:30 am and 4:30 pm, only two flights landed at JFK Airport in New York.

We’ve created a visualization of flights to and from the New York-area’s three major airports—JFK, La Guardia, and Newark—for Monday through Wednesday of this week. Yellow flights are flights to JFK, LGA, and EWR. Red flights are flights from the airports.

The video begins on Monday at 2:00 am local time (06:00 UTC) in New York as we watch the day’s first flights begin to arrive. New York’s airports are a hive of activity until Tuesday around 5:00 am (09:00 UTC). The airspace is quiet until 4:30 pm (20:30 UTC) when the storm has moved on and airlines restart their schedules. We then follow Wednesday’s flights as schedules return to normal.

Due to the forecasted threat of the storm, airlines were proactive in canceling flights to the affected areas. American Airlines went so far as to suspend their entire New York operation for Tuesday. Overall, thousands of flights were canceled Tuesday and hundreds more on Wednesday as airlines recovered. With proactive cancellations, airlines were able to keep aircraft outside the path of the storm and quickly resume flights.