OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) — Over 8,000 thousand flights were delayed Wednesday across the US, due to an FAA system outage that grounded all flights Wednesday morning.
The US Department of Transportation is currently investigating what caused the outage, but the White House said that there is no evidence of a cyber attack.
The FAA announced early Wednesday morning that their Notice to Air Missions System failed overnight,
"So it's a standardized a uniform way for getting important safety messages out to airports, aircraft, and airlines," said Department of Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg, "For example, if a runway is closed or maybe a navigation beacon is something that a pilot would need to know for safety reasons."
Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre tweeted out Wednesday morning that there is no evidence of a cyberattack, and that the president directed DOT to conduct a full investigation into the causes.
The FAA is also conducting an investigation, in a statement to Fox 25 they said,
The FAA is continuing a thorough review to determine the root cause of the Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) system outage. Our preliminary work has traced the outage to a damaged database file. At this time, there is no evidence of a cyberattack. The FAA is working diligently to further pinpoint the causes of this issue and take all needed steps to prevent this kind of disruption from happening again.
Experts say this is not a common occurrence,
"I haven't dealt with anything like this, it sounds like it's been quite some time since the FAA might have had some issues in the past, but nothing recently or within the last, I would say five to six years," said Stacey Hamm with Will Rogers World Airport.
The ground order was lifted after a nearly two-hour hold, but the early delays created a domino effect.
According to Flight Aware, here in Oklahoma City 24 departing flights were delayed, four were canceled, and 27 arriving flights were also delayed, but delays in bigger cities were even worse,
"I think you'll probably experience a few delays. Once you get to the major hubs like Dallas or Houston or Denver and Chicago," said Hamm.
Major airlines took to Twitter today to alert passengers to monitor their flight status online or on their apps, while United and Delta offered travel waivers to their customers impacted by the disruption.
The FAA and DOT are still investigating.
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