FAA pausing all domestic flight departures after computer outage | The Hill

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) paused all domestic flight departures early Wednesday after a computer system outage sparked widespread delays. 

The FAA issued an advisory just after 4 a.m. ET saying that technicians were working to address the problem. United Airlines tweeted that the issue was with the FAA’s Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) system, which sends out real-time flight hazards and restrictions to all commercial pilots, and that it was temporarily delaying all domestic flights. 

The FAA said at 6:30 a.m. that it was performing its final validation checks and reloading the system. 

The agency then said at 7:19 a.m. that it was still working to fully restore the system and ordered airlines to pause all domestic departures until 9 a.m. “to allow the agency to validate the integrity of flight and safety information.”

All commercial and military flights are required to use the system.

The agency said operations across the National Airspace System were impacted.

Information from NOTAM can be as long as 200 pages and mention runway closures, bird hazards and construction obstacles, according to Reuters.

The flight-tracking website FlightAware reported that more than 2,500 flights within, into or out of the United States were delayed as of just past 7 a.m.. More than 300 flights had been canceled.

More than 21,000 flights were booked to depart airports in the U.S. on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg tweeted that he has been in touch with the FAA regarding the glitch. He said the agency is working to resolve the issue “swiftly and safely” to allow air traffic to resume normal operations.

Most of the delays on Wednesday have been for flights on the East Coast.

CNN noted that some airlines might be able to operate without information from NOTAM.

NBC reported that several airports outside the United States, including Gatwick Airport in London and Frankfurt Airport in Germany, have been able to continue their operations without interruption.

Stock prices for U.S. airlines also fell Wednesday during premarket trading, according to Reuters. Southwest Airlines fell 2.4 percent, while Delta, United and American airlines dropped about 1 percent.

–The Associated Press contributed to this developing report.



Federal Aviation Administration

flight delays

Pete Buttigieg

technical glitch

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