A plane landing at LaGuardia Airport blew out a chunk of concrete on the runway as it was coming down, and flights were backed up for over an hour as crews repaired the runway, airport sources say.
Runway 31 was closed as workers repaved the hole, about 8 feet by 2 feet, officials said.
That left just one runway open at the airport, creating a bottleneck of flights trying to get in and out through the afternoon and evening. Departing flights were delayed over an hour, and ariving flights were delayed about a half-hour.
The runway was repaired and reopened by 8:30 p.m.
Neal Buccino, a spokesman for Port Authority, which oversees the three New York City-area airports, said a pilot on a departing flight noticed the damage shortly after 3 p.m. and reported it.
Air traffic recordings captured the pilot's report to the controller: "There's a bunch of debris on the runway, just off the right side of the aircraft," the pilot is heard saying. "It looks like a piece of concrete off the number three on the runway, the number completely blown off."
Buccino could not immediately confirm whether it was a landing plane that caused the giant pothole, saying the Port Authority was investigating the cause.
Passengers on various flights reported being stuck on waiting planes as they lined up for the single free runway.
"Been waiting for an hour in plane... the pilot just informed us we are #49 for takeoff!" said Michelle Smith on Facebook.
"On the runway at LaGuardia 17 aircraft deep while they fix potholes on the runway," wrote Matthew Wayne Horace.
"Pothole closes runway at LGA. 30th in line. Hope they rebuilding this stinking airport soon," tweeted Steve Liesman.
People on arriving flights were no less impatient.
"In Miami, we sat in the plane for 45 minutes before took off," said Christine Moran of Tribeca. "They told us one of the runways here was down. And then we circled for another 30 to 45 minutes before landed here."
"They said that the inbound flight from Montreal was going to be delayed, so that was first delayed a half-hour, then it went to over an hour, then it was two and a half hourse," said Miles Zalkin, who flew in from Montreal.