Computer failure at FAA halts all flight operations

Computer failure at FAA halts all flight operations

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CHICAGO (NewsNation) — The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is working to restore its Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) system after a computer failure caused a nationwide outage, delaying flights until 9 a.m. ET. 

The administration “has ordered all airlines to pause all domestic departures until 9 a.m. ET to allow the agency to validate the integrity of flight and safety information.”

The NOTAM system is responsible for communicating flight hazards and real-time restrictions to pilots, making it hazardous for pilots to take off without it.

In its latest update, the FAA said it is making progress to restore its NOTAM system, and that departures at Newark Liberty International Airport and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport are resuming due to air traffic congestion in those areas. All other departures at other airports are expected to resume at 9 a.m. ET.

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg has briefed President Joe Biden on the FAA system outage, according to White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

“There is no evidence of a cyberattack at this point, but the President directed DOT to conduct a full investigation into the causes,” Jean-Pierre tweeted.

The cause of the outage is still undetermined.

“Aircraft can still land safely, just not take off right now. They don’t know what the cause of it is, they expect in a couple of hours they’ll have a good sense of what caused it and will respond at that time,” Biden said.

The FAA supported Biden’s statement, saying that all flights currently in the sky are safe to land. The administration explained that pilots check the NOTAM system before they fly.

“A Notice to Air Missions alerts pilots about closed runways, equipment outages and other potential hazards along a flight route or at a location that could affect the flight,” the FAA tweeted.

Previously, the administration said that some functions were beginning to come back online, but National Airspace System operations remained limited.

In its original tweet, the FAA announced that it was performing final validation checks and reloading the system. It also announced that flight operations across the National Airspace System were affected.

The FAA said the outage means that no flights are able to be released, and airports across the nation are already reporting delays.

“United has temporarily delayed all domestic flights and will issue an update when we learn more from the FAA,” United Airlines told NewsNation in a statement.

American Airlines and Delta Airlines also released statements saying they are closely monitoring the situation and are working with the FAA to minimize disruption to their operation and customers.

As of 8:30 a.m. ET, there have already been 3,704 flights delayed within the U.S., according to FlightAware.

This is a breaking news story. Check bac,k for updates.

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