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Thousands Of U.S. Flights Paused Due to FAA Systems Outage

Planes across the country were halted as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said it experienced a system outage.


Thousands of flights across the U.S. were delayed early Wednesday due to a systems outage from the Notice to Air Missions (NOTAMs) system, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said.

SAUL LOEB / Contributor I Getty Images
Plane leaves Newark International Airport on January 11.

Flight Aware, per The New York Times, showed some 4,500 flights departing from and arriving in the United States, or within it, were delayed on Wednesday.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre Tweeted that "there is no evidence of a cyberattack at this point."

What is the Notice to Air Missions (NOTAMs) system?

The FAA uses the Notice to Air Missions system, or NOTAMs, to alert "personnel concerned with flight operations," about any issues in the country's airspace, which is officially known as the National Airspace System (NAS).

Following an outage, around 7:20 a.m. EST, the FAA asked all domestic flights to pause departure until 9 a.m. ET.

At around 8:15 a.m. EST, the FAA Tweeted, "Update 4: The FAA is making progress in restoring its Notice to Air Missions system following an overnight outage. Departures are resuming at @EWRairport and @ATLairport due to air traffic congestion in those areas. We expect departures to resume at other airports at 9 a.m. ET."

The agency followed up about 40 minutes later to say that operations are "resuming gradually across the U.S. following an overnight outage to the Notice to Air Missions system that provides safety info to flight crews. The ground stop has been lifted."

"We continue to look into the cause of the initial problem," the agency added.

Related: 'Nightmare': Customers 'In Tears' As Southwest Cancels Over 70% of Flights, Prompting Probe By Department of Transportation

Customers seemed annoyed. "Total mess at the gate," one user wrote, who said they were in the Honolulu airport.

"An FAA outage is impacting all flights including all carriers. We sincerely appreciate your patience as they work to resolve this," American Airline's Twitter account wrote back.

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