At 8:28 p.m. Universal Time Tuesday night, the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Notice to Air Missions System (NOTAM) failed. This critical system flags potential hazards along a flight route or at an airport (such as closed runways or equipment outages).
Following the failure, the FAA issued a ground stop for the entire United States, which halts all air traffic in and out of the country. Flights that were already in progress were able to land safely.
What Caused the NOATM Failure?
The cause of the system shutdown is still unknown.
Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House Press Secretary, tweeted “The President has been briefed by the Secretary of Transportation this morning on the FAA system outage. There is no evidence of a cyberattack at this point, but the President directed DOT to conduct a full investigation into the causes.”
What to Expect if You’re Flying Today
The FAA allowed flights to resume at Newark Liberty (EWR) and Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson (ATL) around 8:15 this morning, and lifted the overall nationwide ground stop shortly before 9 a.m. ET. Airlines are now dealing with a backlog of flights, so you can expect delays and cancellations to continue throughout the day.
As of 9:50 a.m., flight tracking site Flight Aware was reporting 4,948 delays and 862 cancellations within, into, or out of the United States today.
Check your flight status before heading to the airport if you’re flying today. If your plans are flexible, many airlines are offering travel waivers to customers traveling today, allowing them to change to a different flight at no extra charge.
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