Update: Newark airport has been given the green light to resume normal operations following the drone incident.
Normal #EWR operations have resumed after arrivals were briefly held by the FAA due to reports of drone activity north of the airport earlier this evening. We’re coordinating with the FAA & fully supporting all federal law enforcement authorities as they investigate this incident— Newark Liberty Airport (@EWRairport) January 23, 2019
The Federal Aviation Agency ordered Newark Liberty International Airport to halt flights temporarily after a drone sighting, according to Bloomberg.
The civilian drone was spotted just north of the New Jersey hub flying at an altitude of 3,500 feet according to FAA spokesman Greg Martin on Tuesday.
The grounding comes one week after the Trump administration announced a long-awaited set of proposals allowing drones to fly at night and over populated areas without a waiver, while also tightening security for industries seeking to expand into robotic aerial deliveries.
Under the proposed rule change, the FAA would require drone operators to have "an anti-collision light illuminated and visible for at least 3 statute miles." Those weighing under 0.55 pounds could fly over populated areas without additional restrictions. Manufacturers of drones weighing more than that would have to prove to the FAA that if their product "crashed into a person, the resulting injury would be below a certain severity threshold."
In recent weeks, London's Gatwick and Heathrow airports had drone incidents which resulted in major travel disruptions. Last week, 38-year-old George Rusu was charged with flying a drone near Heathrow on Christmas Eve - just days after a scare at Gatwick grounded over 1,000 flights.