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All flights in the U.S have been grounded by a system failure at the Federal Aviation Administration

All flights in the U.S have been grounded by a system failure at the Federal Aviation Administration


At 7 a.m. Et Wednesday, the Federal Aviation Administration suspended all flights nationwide due to a malfunction in the agency's NOTAM system. NOTAM system, air mission notification system. Before a flight takes off, pilots and airline dispatchers must review the system notifications, which include weather, runway closures or construction and other detailed safety information that could affect flights. White House press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday that the system is separate from air traffic control but is still considered a "vital safety system."


The system malfunctioned Tuesday night local time and stopped receiving new or updated information, according to a notice from the FAA. The authority switched to a telephone system for updates at night, but it was overwhelmed by heavy traffic during the day and also stopped using it.


The FAA lifted the ground grounding of departing flights around 8:50 a.m. local time Wednesday, notifying that normal air traffic operations across the United States were gradually resuming and that it would continue an in-depth review to determine the root cause of the NOTAM system outage. By the time the announcement was made to resume air traffic operations, however, airports across the United States were already clogged with backlogs of flights. Airlines continued to delay or cancel flights because of continued congestion.


As of Wednesday night ET, more than 9,700 flights to, from and within the United States had been delayed, and more than 2,800 flights had been canceled, according to FlightAware, a website that tracks flight delays and cancellations. Airports in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Atlanta saw 30 to 40 percent of flights delayed.

According to a statement released by the FAA late Wednesday local time, its initial investigation has traced the outage to a corrupted database file and there is no evidence yet of a cyber attack. That's consistent with U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who said in an interview: "There's no direct evidence or indication that it was a cyber attack. But until there is a clear and clearer picture of what happened, we will not rule it out either."


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