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FAA Flight Delays Could Continue

National

Commercial aircraft | Image by SturmUfa/Shutterstock

A computer issue Wednesday caused the Federal Aviation Administration to order a 90-minute halt to all departing flights, as The Dallas Express reported at the time.

According to FlightAware, the grounding caused at least 1,300 cancellations and more than 10,000 flight delays. Airline industry officials compared the freeze to the groundings after the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001.

Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, American Airlines, and Delta Air Lines all reported delays and cancellations, some as high as 40% of all flights for the day.

The U.S. Travel Association called the system failure “catastrophic.”

The ground stop was issued around 7:30 a.m. EST and flights resumed shortly before 9 a.m. EST.

Originating from the FAA, the computer issue entailed a failure to update safety notices which would warn pilots of hazards from weather, construction, and runway closures.

The impact on transatlantic routes appears to have been limited.

FAA officials said there was no evidence of a cyberattack, and they expect to see normal operations by Thursday.

However, Captain Chris Torres, vice president of the Allied Pilots Association, told Reuters that the incident could affect traffic through Friday.

“This thing was lifted at 9 a.m. Eastern. That doesn’t mean the problem stops at 9 a.m. This is going to cause ripple effects,” Torres said.

United States Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg reiterated to CNN that there was no evidence of a cyberattack and said that the decision to ground flights was the “right call.” The White House said that the president had confidence in Buttigieg.

The computer outage will be scrutinized by the U.S. Senate Science, Commerce, and Transportation Committee, as The Dallas Express previously reported.

“The number one priority is safety,” said Committee Chair Maria Cantwell (D-WA) in a written statement.

“As the Committee prepares for FAA reauthorization legislation, we will be looking into what caused this outage and how redundancy plays a role in preventing future outages. The public needs a resilient air transportation system.”

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) denounced the incident and the Department of Transportation’s leadership.

“The flying public deserves safety in the sky. The FAA’s inability to keep an important safety system up and running is completely unacceptable and just the latest example of dysfunction within the Department of Transportation,” Cruz said in a written statement.

“The administration needs to explain to Congress what happened, and Congress should enact reforms in this year’s FAA reauthorization legislation.

“This incident also highlights why the public needs a competent, proven leader with substantive aviation experience leading the FAA,” he added.

The FAA said the investigation into the origin of the computer issue is continuing.

Wednesday’s blanket grounding adds further troubles to a rough stretch for air travel, after Southwestern Airlines left thousands stranded in a holiday season debacle, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

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jim
jim
13 days ago

Well who is surprised? The NOTAM system (Notice to Airmen) apparently has been changed to Notice to Air Mission to get gender out of it? Really???

The FAA is wasting time and resources on this?

What a clown show. As long as it’s allowed to continue, as long as We The People allow it to continue, it will continue!

https://skybrary.aero/articles/notice-airmen-notam

DefinitionNotice to Airmen (NOTAM), Also known as Notice to Air Missions (FAA definition),

Patti
Patti
11 days ago

My husb won’t even go near an airport after we were stranded twice at DIA bc of cancellations when real reason is they overbook or don’t have enough pilots. No hotels close bc it’s out in the middle of nowhere. No offers for vouchers. Had to take a shuttle to the Colorado Spgs Airport to get our car & a taxi the 2nd time, which was not cheap.