FAA System Outage

Leads to Record-Breaking Flight Cancellations and Delays


The Federal Aviation Administration issued a ground stop on Wednesday morning after an outage to a system that provides pilots with information while in the air. Air Traffic Controllers noticed a problem with the computer system late Tuesday. Their plan was simple and quick. They would reboot the system at the least disruptive time on Wednesday Morning. However, the ground stop led to more than 10,000 flight delays and over 1,300 cancellations. The largest ground stop since 9/11 “which had more than 1,100 flights canceled and over 7,000 delays.”

The FAA is still trying to find the source of the corrupted system file. According to CNN, “A government official familiar with the investigation into the Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) system outage told CNN the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is still trying to determine who is responsible for the corrupted file identified in the probe first reported by CNN. The NOTAM outage grounded flights across the US.” 

Though many citizens worry about what the source is; officials say they had traced the cause to a damaged database file, ruling out the idea of any sort of cyber attack. 

Air Traffic Controllers went back to the basics in order to verbally advise pilots of safety notices. According to a source at NOTAMS, outdated programs and cheap budgets are the true cause of this ground stop. According to a CNN source at NOTAMS “Because of budgetary concerns and flexibility of budget, this tech refresh has been pushed off, I assume now they’re going to actually find money to do it.”

The latest developments include the ground stops being lifted Wednesday morning. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg released a statement on Wednesday morning stating, “normal air traffic operations are resuming gradually across the U.S. The dramatic nationwide ground stop of departing flights was out of an abundance of caution.”