FAA says flights are beginning to move across the country following system outage

Update 8:52 a.m. EST Jan. 11: The FAA says normal flight operations are beginning to return a few minutes ahead of the planned time to lift the grounding of all US domestic flights.

Update 8:30 a.m. EST Jan. 11: As of 8:30 a.m. EST, more than 3,700 flights within, into, or out of the United States have been delayed. Just over 600 flights within, into, or out of the United States have been canceled.

Update 8:23 a.m. EST Jan. 11: The FAA says it is “making progress in restoring its Notice to Air Missions system following an overnight outage.” Flights are departing now from some airports -- Newark and Atlanta -- “due to air traffic congestion in those areas” the agency says.

Update 8:11 a.m. EST Jan. 11: More than 21,000 flights were scheduled to take off in the U.S. today, most of them are domestic trips, according to aviation data firm Cirium.

Update 7:55 a.m. EST Jan. 11: President Joe Biden has been briefed about the FAA system outage by Pete Buttigieg, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre tweeted Wednesday morning.

Jean-Pierre said there is no evidence of a cyberattack at this point.

Update 7:48 a.m. EST Jan. 11: More than 2,500 flights into, out of and within the United States have been delayed as of 7:45 a.m. EST, according to FlightAware.

Update 7:42 a.m. EST Jan. 11: Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg says he has been in touch with the FAA about the outage.

Update 7:21 a.m. EST Jan. 11: The FAA has ordered airlines to pause all domestic departures until 9 a.m. EST to allow the agency to “validate the integrity of flight and safety information.”

Flights already in the air were allowed to continue to their destinations.

Update 7:17 a.m. EST Jan. 11: United Airlines has grounded all of its flights until at least 10 a.m.

Update 7:11 a.m. EST Jan. 11: The FAA tweeted that it is “still working to fully restore the Notice to Air Missions system following an outage.

“While some functions are beginning to come back online, National Airspace System operations remain limited.”

Update 7 a.m. EST Jan. 11: More than 1,000 US flights have now been delayed as of 7 a.m. EST, according to FlightAware.

Update 6:36 a.m. EST Jan. 11: According to The New York Times, the “full extent of the delays was not immediately known, but the delays were spread across several airlines.”

According to FlightAware, a flight tracking website, more than 700 flights within, into and out of the United States had been delayed as of Wednesday morning, and more than 90 were canceled,

Original story

The failure of an FAA computer system could delay or ground flights nationwide on Wednesday, Reuters is reporting.

If the FAA grounds all domestic flights it would be the first time the agency did that since the country was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001.

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The affected system, called the Notice to Air Missions or NOTAM, sends flight hazards and real-time flight or airport restrictions to pilots.

“THE FAA is experiencing an outage that is impacting the update of NOTAMS. All flights are unable to be released at this time,” the FAA said in a statement early Wednesday.

In an advisory, the FAA said its NOTAM system had “failed,” and there was no estimate for when it would be back up. The agency added that “operations across the National Airspace System” are affected.

NOTAMs issued before the outage are still viewable on the website, according to ABC News.

American Airlines told ABC that the failure has only meant delays for their flights for the moment.

The FAA said they will be issuing an update on the problem shortly.

Check back for more on this developing story.

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