Widespread flight delays in US after FAA computer outage
Flights are being delayed at multiple locations across the United States after a computer outage at the Federal Aviation Administration.
NEW YORK (AP) — A computer outage at the Federal Aviation Administration brought flights to a standstill across the U.S. on Wednesday, with hundreds of delays quickly cascading through the system at airports nationwide.
The FAA ordered all U.S. flights to delay departures until 9 a.m. Eastern, though airlines said they were aware of the situation and had already begun grounding flights.
At 7:30 a.m. Eastern, there were more than 1,200 delayed flights within, into or out of the United States, according to the flight tracking website FlightAware. More than 100 have been cancelled.
Most delays were concentrated along the East Coast, but were beginning to spread west.
The FAA said it was working on restoring its Notice to Air Missions System.
“We are performing final validation checks and reloading the system now,” the FAA said. “Operations across the National Airspace System are affected.”
The agency said that some functions are beginning to come back on line, but that “National Airspace System operations remain limited.”
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a tweet that he is in touch with the FAA and monitoring the situation.
United Airlines said that it had temporarily delayed all domestic flights and would issue an update once it learned more from the FAA.
The FAA is working to restore what is known as the Notice to Air Missions System.
NOTAMs used to be available through a hotline but that was phased out with the internet. The alerts span from mundane information about construction at airports to urgent flight restrictions or broken equipment.
There is a potential for widespread disruption because of the outage. All aircraft are required to route through the system, including commercial and military flights.
European flights into the U.S. appeared to be largely unaffected.
Irish carrier Aer Lingus said services to the U.S. continue, and Dublin Airport’s website showed that its flights to Newark, Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles were running on schedule.
“Aer Lingus plan to operate all transatlantic flights as scheduled today,” the carrier said in a prepared statement. “We will continue to monitor but we do not anticipate any disruption to our services arising from the technical issue in the United States.”
The FAA said that it would provide frequent updates as it made progress.
AP White House Correspondent Zeke Miller contributed to this report from Washington, D.C. AP Buisness Writer Kelvin Chan contributed from London.
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