FAA says ‘safe to land flights’

FAA says ‘safe to land flights’


A plane of the United Airlines waits at the OHare International Airport, Chicago, Illinois on December 13, 2022. — AFP
A plane of the United Airlines waits at the O'Hare International Airport, Chicago, Illinois on December 13, 2022. — AFP

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Wednesday announced that it is making progress in restoring its Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) system following an overnight outage.

It has stated in its most recent tweet on Twitter, that “departures are resuming at Newark Liberty International Airport and Atlanta Airport due to air traffic congestion in those areas. We expect departures to resume at other airports at 9am ET”.

Earlier, it had announced that all flights currently in the sky were safe to land since pilots check the NOTAM system before they fly. 

US flights were grounded or delayed Wednesday as the FAA scrambled to fix the NOTAM system outage, while passengers were instructed to check with airlines for updates.

The FAA system that alerts pilots to hazards and changes to airport facilities and procedures had stopped working earlier today.

Due to the outage, a total of 1,230 flights were delayed within, into or out of the United States as of 7:19 am ET, the flight tracking website FlightAware showed. Another 103 within, into or out of the country had also been cancelled.

An hour after the delays were announced, The FAA announced on Twitter that it was performing final validation checks and reloading the system to restore its NOTAM system.

After another hour, the administration announced that its operations across the National Airspace System had been affected.

Promising to make frequent updates as progress was made, the FAA announced that it was “is still working to fully restore the system.” However, “some functions are beginning to come back on line, [and] National Airspace System operations remain limited.”

Not long after, the FAA shared on the microblogging platform that it had “ordered airlines to pause all domestic departures until 9 am Eastern Time [ET] to allow the agency to validate the integrity of flight and safety information.”

Following United Airlines' announcement that it had temporarily delayed all domestic flights, several airlines stated that they would continue to operate flights in the US.

The German airline Lufthansa and Air France both continued to operate flights to and from the US, while the French airline said it was monitoring the situation.

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport said on Twitter that ground stops across the country were causing delays. A ground stop is an air traffic control measure that slows or halts aircraft at a given airport.

A total of 21,464 flights are scheduled to depart airports in the United States on Wednesday with a carrying capacity of nearly 2.9 million passengers, data from Cirium shows.

American Airlines has the most departures from US airports with 4,819 flights scheduled, followed by Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines, Cirium data showed.


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