Air travel across the United States was brought to a standstill Wednesday night after the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) system failed. The FAA had put a ground stop order in place, prohibiting all domestic flight departures, leading to extensive disruption and thousands of delayed and canceled flights.
The order was lifted shortly before 9 a.m. ET, and the agency said normal air traffic operations were resuming across the country. However, airlines were still experiencing delays and cancellations due to ongoing congestion.
US President Joe Biden said there was no immediate information on what had caused the outage — the second US aviation crisis in a matter of weeks. He said he had been briefed on the situation and was in touch with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
FlightAware, which tracks delays and cancellations, showed more than 5,400 flights to, from and within the United States as being delayed as of 10:15 a.m. ET, and more than 900 flights canceled so far. SouthWest Airlines had the most cancellations and delays, with 8% of flights canceled and 42% of flights delayed.
The cause of outage is still unclear, but the FAA is working to determine the source of the problem. In the meantime, airlines have issued travel waivers in response to the outage, and passengers are advised to check with their airlines for flight status updates.