Reports of two drone sightings temporarily halted arrivals at the second largest airport in the New York metropolitan area on Tuesday, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said.
The drones were reported by flights preparing to land at Newark Liberty international airport in northern New Jersey, the spokesman said. The drones were seen flying at approximately 3,500ft over another nearby airport, Teterboro, which is about 20 miles to the north.
No further drone sightings have been reported, and arrivals have since resumed at the airport, the spokesman said.
The airport, operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said it was “supporting all federal law enforcement authorities as they investigate this incident”, in a statement posted on Twitter.
The brief pause comes amid concern over the potential for drones to wreak havoc on air traffic. In late December, drone sightings near the UK’s Gatwick airport resulted in utter chaos as about 1,000 flights were cancelled over three days, affecting approximately 140,000 people.
On 8 January, another drone sighting caused flights to be grounded at London Heathrow airport.
The Newark airport is one of the busiest in the US, serving 43.3 million passengers in 2017, the most recent year for which data has been published.
The FAA website advises hobbyists not to fly drones above 400ft and not to fly them near airports.