It’s hard to imagine that after the shock of the 9/11 attacks, U.S. airspace was closed to everything except military aircraft. While domestic flights were forced to land at the nearest airport, what about international flights that were leaving the country or just arriving? They had to land as well. If you were on a flight going over the Northern Atlantic, more than likely your flight was diverted and told to land at Gander Airport.
You know Gander Airport, YQX for those keeping track, in Newfoundland, Canada. It was the perfect place to land a bunch of large planes. The former airport, once an important refueling point for flights across the Atlantic, is now mostly known as a place that planes land if they have in-flight emergencies.
On 9/11, 38 planes landed at Gander and a town of 9,000 had to deal with 6,500 visitors with no notice and no idea of how long they would be there.