Arrival of airplanes at San Diego International Airport was aborted after a gunman was reported shooting intermittently in the Little Italy neighbourhood of the city, close to the airport.
FAA public affairs manager Ian Gregor told Time: "We are allowing departures but we are not landing aircraft due to the active shooter situation under the approach path.
"Airborne aircraft are either holding or diverting."
About 30 flights bound for San Diego were cancelled and 30 others were delayed on Tuesday, the FAA's Pacific Division said.
Some flights were diverted to the Los Angeles International Airport.
Gregor added the ground stop was issued because arriving flights had to fly directly over the gunman's apartment. Departing flights were not affected as they take off in a direction away from the complex.
The SWAT team officers nabbed the suspect, identified as Titus Colbert, 33, after a five-hour deadlock between the man and the police yesterday morning.
The shooter had barricaded himself in an apartment after the first shots were fired and refused to come out or surrender.
The officers were responding to a domestic violence call when they heard gunshots at the area a little after 9am local time.
A witness in the neighbourhood counted the number of shots fired to be 48.
The locals were asked by the police to stay indoor and away from the windows.
City Tree Christian School and Washington Elementary School in the neighbourhood were closed as a precautionary measure.
The man surrendered ten minutes after the police tossed a flash bang grenade at the apartment.
San Diego Police chief Shelley Zimmerman was quoted by Reuters as saying at a conference: "Our SWAT team did deploy (tear) gas on numerous occasions."
Eventually, the suspect did surrender and he was taken into custody. We did find two weapons at the scene: one looks to be an AK47-type weapon and a handgun."
Image: Planes bound for the San Diego airport were either cancelled or diverted to Los Angeles. Photo: courtesy of Luciof / Wikipedia.