FAA System Failure Causes US Flight Delays

FAA System Failure Causes US Flight Delays

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If you’re scheduled to fly today, you’re potentially looking at some major delays…

Issues with FAA NOTAMs causing flight issues

Flights across the United States were grounded late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, due to a system outage with the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Specifically, the Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) system, which relays essential information to pilots, stopped working.

A message from the FAA about NOTAM issues

The FAA has been working on restoring this as quickly as possible. Flights were initially grounded last night, then slowly started to operate again this morning, and are now once again grounded.

Shortly before 7AM ET on Wednesday, the FAA issued a statement clarifying that it’s “still working to fully restore the Notice to Air Missions system following an outage,” and that “while some functions are beginning to come back on line, National Airspace System operations remain limited.”

Then after 7AM ET, it was clarified that there’s a ground stop in place for all domestic flights until at least 9AM ET. This is intended to allow the agency to validate the integrity of flight and safety information.

The cause of the issue isn’t known, though government officials say there’s no indication of it being linked to a cyberattack.

How bad are the flight delays we’re seeing?

We saw significant delays on quite a few flights late on Tuesday night. For example, an American Airlines Los Angeles to Miami redeye was delayed from 11:50PM until 4:30AM, while a United Airlines Los Angeles to Newark redeye was delayed from 9:05PM until 11:42PM.

Delay due to FAA system issues
Delay due to FAA system issues

Now with a ground stop in place again, you can expect a significant number of delays this morning. Hopefully this gets resolved soon. Even once it is resolved, expect that delays may linger throughout the day, given how aircraft scheduling works. Hopefully this is nothing like the Southwest Airlines issues a couple of weeks ago…

Bottom line

The FAA had a system failure with NOTAMs last night, causing no flights to take off for an extended period of time. The FAA is still working to resolve these issues, and has issued a ground stop through 9AM ET. Expect that you might be looking at some delays if you’re flying today.

Are any OMAAT readers flying yesterday night or this morning, and are impacted by this?

Conversations (47)
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  1. FlyerDon New Member

    So where does the money come from to update the FAA computers? Increase the tax on tickets? Take money from the Department of Defense or some other agencies budget? Make the airlines pay for it? Privatize it?

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Or just do nothing and keep the old 70s system.

  2. Ole Guest

    Love the comparison between FAA’s ground stop with SW’s meltdown. Seems folks have lost the common sense of comparing meltdown last days v/s ground stop lasting hrs. Common Sense is not common.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Love the comparison between FAA’s ground stop with SW’s meltdown. Seems folks have lost the common sense of comparing meltdown affecting 15000+ flights over a week v/s (sic) ground stop affecting the similar number of flights in a few hrs. Common Sense is not common.

  3. DaveP Guest

    This situation worked out for me. I'm scheduled on AA116 tonight from OGG to DFW, equipment was swapped from 787-9 to 787-8 and we were booked in business. AA called and offered $800 voucher plus refund in fare difference to downgrade to premium economy. I took the offer. OGG to DFW isn't long enough to fully enjoy flagship business.

    1. D3kingg Guest

      @DaveP

      That’s a heck of a deal. Are you CK or EP ?

    2. DaveP Guest

      EP, yeah heck of a deal as there were many pissed off travelers at OGG who were informed they were downgraded.

  4. Donna Diamond

    My 0630 AA flight from SAN to PHL left at 0655 and we are inflight, due to arrive around 10 minutes later than scheduled. So far, not a problem.

  5. jcil Guest

    Welcome to 21st century America. We have used up all the design margin in our critical systems and institutions, and as a country we lack the seriousness to rebuild them. An un-serious and unqualified individual like Mayor Pete is a perfect example. Unfortunately he is not unique, but rather the norm as unqualified people staff and seemingly run everything important these days.

    1. Icarus Guest

      There’s so much reliance on technology nowadays and I’m sure you’re an expert on this. All talk, no knowledge

    2. George Romey Guest

      You're correct. Critical infrastructure, not jut technology, has been maxed over it's intended limit and few new investments and upgrades. Just look at our airports. Built in the 60s and 70s for the volume of 60s and 70s. But we'd rather send billions to a crooked country like Ukraine and Pete will go right along because he knows nothing.

    3. Ivan X New Member

      @George Romey great argument, completely persuaded, totally coherent

    4. Santos Guest

      When you get back to Earth from planet nut job, look into the historic bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure improvement bill passed by the Biden administration. Or just keep whining like a child. Your choice.

  6. Creditcrunch Diamond

    Something not quite right, it’s now being reported here in the U.K. that Royal Mail are unable to send letters and parcels internationally due to a “cyber incident”

  7. Tim Dunn Diamond

    Today will go down as one of the most heavily delayed days in US airline history and the airlines and weather have nothing to do with it

    Don't hold your breath for congressional hearings on this one.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      And the 2nd time ever we had a nationwide ground stop.

      First time was 9/11.

    2. Tim Dunn Diamond

      And yet it hurt Southwest the most

  8. Ted Guest

    The government is so quick to demand that the airlines give refunds to passengers when they have meltdowns, where is the FAA giving refunds and compensation to passengers when it’s their fault?

    1. tcATL Member

      We should consider that after airlines eat how much they should have reimbursed passengers and didn't over the last 100 years.

    2. Jason Guest

      It can't -- it is generally illegal for a federal agency to spend monies for a purpose for which there isn't a valid appropriation passed by Congress. And if the government starts compensating people and companies for stuff like this in all the domains it operates in, taxes will have to go through the roof.

    3. david Guest

      I guess the nuance of that question went right over your head. But at least you understand government appropriations.

  9. Sel, D. Guest

    Quite ironic after Feds came down on WN. Are they refunding passengers too?

  10. Henry Guest

    Maybe Pete Buttigeg should spend some time fixing his own computer systems instead of writing pointless letters to southwest…

    1. Icarus Guest

      It’s not his system. Do you know what the issue was and how to resolve it? Of course not.

  11. Jeff Guest

    According to UA pilot on PDX NOTAM is restored so that is good news, now the dispatchers have to work through the backlog and hopefully get us on our way soon. 5:40sm PST

    1. Jan Guest

      Is Buttigieg gonna write a strongly worded letter w/ threats to his own departments?

  12. MildMidwesterner Gold

    @Ben. Follow-up column idea for you: What are your refund options when an extreme flight delay or cancellation is the fault of the FAA and not the airline?

    1. Steve Diamond

      None. If you want change you have to chance to vote in someone who will put in a real secretary of transportation and not a celebrity mayor.

    2. panda Guest

      LOL does the FAA/Boeing 737 fiasco ring a bell? That was under the last administration.

    3. FlyerDon New Member

      Yes, things were much better when Mitch McConnell’s wife was Secretary of Transportation.

  13. pstm91 Diamond

    Would love someone with inside knowledge to explain how there aren't 2-3+ back up servers and other fail-safe procedures for something this critical?

    1. Ocean Guest

      Another DOT leadership failure.

    2. John Guest

      It likely did failover to the backup that’s why it says “no updates.” They could access existing NOTAMS but no new ones could added. It’s fairly common to failover to a read only backup in case there was data corruption. They had to perform data integrity checks before bringing it back up and add back any data that was corrupted during the failover.

  14. Woodrow Gold

    Currently sitting at BZN, with no lounge. First world problems.

    1. ORD_Is_My_Second_Home Member

      At least it isn't 20 below there like it was when I was there a few weeks ago. It definitely brought a new dimension to the phrase "Smoking is bad for your health".

  15. MFK Guest

    Looks like I picked the wrong day to do a status run. Short delay on AS from LAX to EWR last night. Now stuck in EWR on the turnaround that was scheduled to leave at 7:55am. More than half the plane had already boarded. Gate agent said they were told at least 1-2 hours delay, but the board shows an 8:30am departure as does TripIt, which is silly.

    1. MFK Guest

      Update: boarding restarted around 9:00am, a little over an hour after original departure time. Fingers crossed.

    2. JWags Guest

      A status run 10 days into the New Year?

    3. Mike C Diamond

      As it's on AS, I would guess this is a status run for American, which has a status year that ends in February.

    1. Icarus Guest

      And what about IT failures during the trump years? Twat

    2. Sam Guest

      Confirmation bias. If they're not smart enough to recognize it, just ignore the low iq.

  16. D3kingg Guest

    Either the software is out of date or this may be a cyber attack.

    Something this critical should have a fail safe switch , be on a high availability grid , or have parallel server running. If there is no emergency plan in place I would be concerned.

  17. Eskimo Guest

    Gate said, nationwide ground stop. Flights are being called to divert.

    Let's wait and see.

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Diverted flights are coming in.

      Seeeing many ARFF lined up on tarmac, not sure if it's a coincidence or not.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

pstm91 Diamond

Would love someone with inside knowledge to explain how there aren't 2-3+ back up servers and other fail-safe procedures for something this critical?

3
Icarus Guest

And what about IT failures during the trump years? Twat

2
Tim Dunn Diamond

Today will go down as one of the most heavily delayed days in US airline history and the airlines and weather have nothing to do with it Don't hold your breath for congressional hearings on this one.

2
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