Major FAA outage halts all domestic flight departures

Major FAA outage halts all domestic flight departures

Departing flights across the United States were grounded Wednesday morning after the Federal Aviation Administration said it had experienced a computer outage.

The FAA said that it had ordered all airlines to pause domestic departures until 9 a.m. ET. At around 8:50 a.m., it announced that the ground stop had been lifted and that normal air traffic operations were resuming gradually across the country. “The agency continues to look into the cause of the initial problem,” it said.

More than 4,000 flights within, to and out of the U.S. were delayed as of around 9 a.m. Wednesday, according to the online flight tracker FlightAware. More than 700 flights were listed as canceled.

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The FAA said earlier on its website that its Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) system had “failed.” NOTAM contains information essential to workers involved in flight operations.

Major FAA outage halts all domestic flight departures
United Air Lines planes are seen on the tarmac of Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), New Jersey, on the eve of Thanksgiving on November 23, 2022. (Photo by Daniel SLIM / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images)

“Operations across the National Airspace System are affected,” the agency said in a statement.

In an update posted to Twitter just before 7:20 a.m., the FAA said it was ordering airlines to pause all domestic departures until 9 a.m. ET “to allow the agency to validate the integrity of flight and safety information.” It said it was still working to fully restore the NOTAM system.

In subsequent updates, it said that all flights in the sky were safe to land and that departures had resumed in some places “due to air traffic congestion.”

“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 agency said.

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