A corrupt file has been blamed for a glitch in the Federal Aviation Administration’s computer system that has grounded every flight across the United States.
All outbound flights were grounded until around 9am ET (2pm GMT) on Wednesday as the FAA worked to restore its Notification of Air Tasks (NOTAM) system, which reminded pilots to be on the lookout for flights on their flight paths. potential danger.
As of 3pm GMT yesterday, 4,948 flights within, into and out of the US were delayed and 868 were cancelled, according to flight tracking website FlightAware.com. Most of the delays are concentrated on the East Coast.
Normal air traffic operations are gradually resuming across the United States after an outage in the NOTAM system that provides safety information to flight crews.
A corrupt file affected both the primary and backup systems, a senior administration official told NBC News late Wednesday, adding that officials are continuing to investigate.
“We are continuing a thorough review to determine the root cause of the outage in the Notification of Air Tasks (NOTAM) system,” the FAA said in an update yesterday.
“Our initial work has traced the outage to a corrupted database file. At this time, there is no evidence of a cyber attack.”
It added that work was underway to “further identify the cause of this issue” and take “all necessary steps to prevent this disruption from happening again”.
“It’s a mess for the U.S. airline industry,” Sky News correspondent Mark Stone at Ronald Reagan Airport in Virginia said at the time of the outage.
“We were told there was a malfunction in the NOTAM system, which is part of the air traffic control system. It is critical for flights to be able to take off safely. So the busiest airspace in the world, the airspace over the U.S. state, is not doing as it should. Be that open.
“Looking at flight tracker sites, it’s clear you can see flights congregating around many cities in the U.S. and none of them taking off. Passenger chaos, as you can imagine.”
No Evidence of Cyber Attack
President Joe Biden’s press secretary, Karin Jean-Pierre, said he was briefed on the outage.
She said there was no evidence a cyberattack was behind the glitch, “but the president directed [the US Department of Transport] A full investigation into the cause will be conducted.”
“They don’t know what caused it, they expect to have a good understanding of what caused it within a few hours and will respond at that time,” Mr Biden told reporters during the outage yesterday.
The president added that he had spoken to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg by phone and told him to “report it directly to me when they find out about it.”
Some tweeted that they were stranded due to a power outage, and a passenger at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport said there were no flights to the United States.
A total of 21,464 flights are scheduled to depart from U.S. airports today, according to aviation analytics firm Cirium.
These flights offer nearly 2.9 million seats.