Note: Video is provided through YouTube.
Closure of the North American Airspace, September 11, 2001
At 9:45 AM, Eastern Standard Time, an hour after the first
hijacked plane collided with the North Tower of the World Trade
Center in New York, a complete closure of the North American
airspace was ordered. This was the first time in history that the
American as well as the Canadian airspaces were closed. Domestic
flights were ordered to land at the nearest airport. However, this
created difficulties for inbound international flights. At that
time, the first westbound transatlantic flights were starting to
enter the Canadian and American airspaces and could not head back to
Europe, lacking enough fuel to do so. About 235 international flights thus landed in Canada, the
great majority at Gander, Halifax and St. John's as well as
Vancouver for inbound transpacific flights. The airspace was
reopened on September 13.