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Many flights delayed, grounded across US over FAA computer outage

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from the source.

A computer glitch at the Federal Aviation Administration delayed airline traffic across much of the nation early Wednesday, and the agency said it was working to restore the system.

At 7:20 a.m., the FAA said in a tweet that it was asking all airlines to pause domestic departures until 9 a.m. “to allow the agency to validate the integrity of flight and safety information.”

More than 1,200 flights within, into, or out of the United States were delayed as of 7:15 a.m. ET, according to the tracking website FlightAware, and just over 100 flights in the country were canceled. With 19,621 flights scheduled within, into and out of the U.S. on Monday, and no departures permitted until at least 9 a.m. ET, that number is almost certain to rise.

United Airlines said in a statement that it had “temporarily delayed all domestic flights and will issue an update when we learn more from the FAA.”

Southwest Airlines said it was closely “monitoring a data issue with the FAA” that may impact operations. It urged travelers to check flight status.

Airlines for America, the trade group that represents major U.S. airlines, urged travelers to check with their carrier throughout the day.

“For real time updates related to any potential delays or cancellations caused by the FAA’s system disruptions, travelers should download their airline’s app, visit the carrier’s website and ensure their contact information is accurate on travel records,” the group said.

The FAA said it was working to fully restore the affected Notice to Air Mission (NOTAM) system, which provides pilots with safety information for the nation’s airports.

“While some functions are beginning to come back on line, National Airspace System operations remain limited,” the agency said in a tweet.

Did the FAA shut down flights?

Not exactly. The NOTAM system provides pilots with crucial safety information for every flight, and the FAA temporarily grounded new departures while it addresses the outage.

For now, most airlines seem to expect to run more or less their full schedules for the day, though many flights are likely to be delayed once departures are allowed again.

The White House weighs in

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed early Wednesday that President Joe Biden had been briefed by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on the situation.

“There is no evidence of a cyberattack at this point, but the President directed DOT to conduct a full investigation into the causes. The FAA will provide regular updates,” Jean-Pierre said on Twitter. 

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