Flights across the U.S. — including potentially all that fly through any domestic U.S. airspace — are delayed this morning as a major system outage means the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) can’t send out key hazard notices to commercial pilots. The FAA says it’s working to resolve the issue, but the widespread impact continues as of early Wednesday morning.
The agency said via Twitter at just before 6:30 AM ET on Wednesday that it was “working to restore its Notice to Air Mission Systems” (aka NOTAM) — an alert that came after many passengers were already reporting delays to their flights at airports across the country. The Notice to Air Missions System provides key real-time updates about potential flight hazards, as well as any airspace restrictions in place.
Flights across the country appear to be grounded as they wait for the system to come back online. United has confirmed that it has “temporarily delayed all domestic flights” pending further updates from the FAA. International flights going into the country are also impacted according to user reports via social media. The agency said via its own account that it has ordered airlines to pause all their flights domestically until 9 AM ET, as it works “to validate the integrity of flight and safety information” after earlier noting that it has started to bring elements of the system back online.
The FAA issued a failure notice for the system early on Wednesday, though no cause has currently been given. The White House says that President Biden has been briefed on the situation and that “no evidence of a cyberattack” exists at this time.
Per the FAA, “all flights currently in the sky are safe to land,” despite the issues and ongoing attempts to resolve the problem. It also reported that it’s “making progress” to restore NOTAM and that departures have already resumed at two airports, Newark and Atlanta, and that others should be back in progress as of 9 AM ET.
Update 9:29 AM ET: The FAA now says normal operations are resuming and the grounding of flights was officially lifted as of 8:50 AM ET. It has not yet revealed any details regarding the cause, but says it’s looking into that.
This story is developing…