Nationwide Flight Departures Halted by Computer System Glitch in the US

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Videos by Rare

Videos by Rare

A computer glitch halted all domestic departures earlier this morning which left airline passengers frustrated, confused, and ultimately stranded at airports across the United States. The Notice to Air Mission System, also known as NOTAM, which pilots rely on for their latest information on airspace closures and safety and airports had failed, according to the Federal Aviation administration. Just before 9:00 a.m., the agency stated that normal air traffic operations were resuming gradually across the US.

“The ground stop has been lifted,” the FAA noted, saying the outage is being investigated. There were more than 4,000 flights delayed and more than 700 flights canceled in the US according to flightaware.com. Just before 7:30 a.m, The FAA tweeted that all Airlines were pausing domestic departures until 9:00 a.m. eastern standard time in order to “validate the Integrity of a flight and safety information.”

More Than 500 Flights Cancelled

Licensed practitioner nurse Tashara Chanel White spoke to NBC news about her canceled flight, saying she was supposed to depart from Riley Durham International Airport located in North Carolina at 5:20 a.m. She was set to head to Miami and then to Cartagena Colombia but her flight Captain stated wern’t going to depart. Apparently, the news came five minutes prior to her boarding her American Airlines flight.

“This is insane. We were told that there was an outage that happened at 7 p.m. yesterday and they were trying to fix it then. It apparently worsened this morning,” White stated. “I am personally bothered by the fact that this was a known problem yesterday and the public wasn’t made aware sooner,” she said. “It pains me to see people with small children and the elderly especially sitting for so long and can’t get the care they need. People rely on the convenience of flying, but the hassle is not worth it these days.”

Luckily, all flights across the US have now resumed several hours after the computer outrage. Investigators did note that there was no evidence of a cyber attack, according to White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.  President Joe Biden had to order an investigation after he was briefed on the incident by transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg.  Senator Maria Cantwell, Who leads the Senate Commerce Committee that oversees the FAA, stated they two are going to look at the situation. 

“The number one priority is safety,” Cantwell said in a 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.”

Read More: Southwest Workers Suffer Frostbite During 16-Hour Shifts Due to Cold Weather

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