12 Jan 2023

Air Traffic Gradually Returning To Normal In America After Computer Glitch; US Denies Cyberatack


New York: Normal air traffic operations are resuming slowly across the US on Wednesday following a technical failure of a key pilot notification system that led to the grounding of thousands of flights for several hours.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said earlier in the morning that it suffered an outage of its Notice to Air Missions or NOTAMs, which alerts pilots and other personnel about airborne issues.

No evidence of a cyberattack

There is no evidence of a cyberattack, the White House said on Wednesday following hours of grounding of flights in the United States by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) due to a technical system failure.

Situation to become normal in 2 days

According to the FAA, flight operations gradually resumed after about 4 hours of disruption. According to aviation experts, it will take at least 2 days for the situation to become normal.

How serious the matter is, it can be gauged from the fact that an emergency meeting was held in the White House on this matter. President Joe Biden called for a report from the Transport Secretary. 

The FAA asked airlines to delay all domestic departures early Wednesday morning, but lifted the ground stop just before 9 am Eastern after several hours.

According to FlightAware, a flight tracking company, more than 3,700 flights within, into or out of the US were delayed and more than 600 were cancelled due to the system failure.

More than 21,000 flights were scheduled to take off in the US on Wednesday, mostly domestic trips, and about 1,840 international flights expected to fly to the US.

Flight services were restored partially after 2 hours

The United States transportation system witnessed a "historic" outage on Wednesday that forced the world's largest economy to ground its thousands of flights, prompting major chaos in the airline sector. However, after nearly two hours, flight services were restored partially.

The world’s largest aircraft fleet was grounded for hours by a cascading outage in a government system that delayed or canceled thousands of flights across the U.S. on Wednesday.

The White House initially said that there was no evidence of a cyberattack behind the outage that ruined travel plans for millions of passengers. President Biden said Wednesday morning that he’s directed the Department of Transportation to investigate.

Whatever the cause, the outage revealed how dependent the world’s largest economy is on air travel, and how dependent air travel is on an antiquated computer system called the Notice to Air Missions, or NOTAM.


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