Flights across the United States have been affected by a technical glitch with a computer system in an unprecedented disruption, news reports said on Wednesday.
All flights in the US were grounded following the incident, NBC News reported, quoting a source. Flight tracking website FlightAware reported about 760 flights within, into or out of the United States had been delayed as of 6:30 am US Eastern Time.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said its system that alerts pilots and other flight personnel about hazards or any changes to airport facility services and relevant procedures was not processing updated information.
The FAA is working to restore its Notice to Air Missions System. We are performing final validation checks and reloading the system now.
Operations across the National Airspace System are affected.
We will provide frequent updates as we make progress.
— The FAA ✈️ (@FAANews) January 11, 2023
In an advisory, the civil aviation regulator said its NOTAM (Notice to Air Missions) system had “failed”. There was no immediate estimate for when it would be back, the website showed, though NOTAMs issued before the outage were still viewable.
Passengers on social media reported flight delays and outages across the United States, from Hawaii to Washington. Airports from Texas to Pennsylvania confirmed flights were impacted across the country, according to The Washington Post.
Aviation expert Parvez Damania called it a “shocking and unheard-of situation”. “I don’t recall the last time when the entire airspace of the country was closed. Maybe during 9/11. This is going to cause unbelievable disruption,” he told NDTV over the phone.
(With inputs from agencies)