Thousands Of Flights Across The U.S. Grounded Due To FAA System Failure
Travelers across the U.S. have been majorly affected this Wednesday as thousands of flights have been delayed due to a failure of the Notice to Air Missions System (NOTAMS). The system is meant to give pilots last-minute flight and safety information before flying. According to FlightAware data, over 1,200 flights have been delayed as of 7:30 am EST, and about 100 flights have been canceled entirely.
Which Airlines Have Been Affected?
According to the FAA, all airlines have been ordered to pause domestic departures until 9 am EST. Whether this is extended remains to be seen. Still, as of now, all passengers attempting to fly domestically will be unable to do so. Several airlines have issued their own statements. United has gone as far as to say they have “temporarily delayed all domestic flights and will issue an update when we learn more from the FAA.” Similarly, American Airlines has stated that they are “closely monitoring the situation and working with the FAA to minimize customer disruptions.”
Update 3: The FAA is still working to fully restore the Notice to Air Missions system following an outage.⁰⁰The FAA has ordered airlines to pause all domestic departures until 9 a.m. Eastern Time to allow the agency to validate the integrity of flight and safety information.
— The FAA ✈️ (@FAANews) January 11, 2023
When Will The Issue Be Resolved?
If the FAA’s latest statement is to be trusted, they expect to have made at least enough progress by 9 am to issue an update on the situation. However, it should be noted that prior to their latest update, the FAA stated that “while some functions are beginning to come back online, National Airspace System operations remain limited.” At this moment, it is impossible to predict an exact time for the issue to be resolved. Still, travelers can be sure that the FAA is working as quickly as possible to fix the system.
— United Airlines (@united) January 11, 2023
What Should Travelers With Upcoming Flights Do?
Airports and airlines both advise checking the status of your flight directly with your airline before heading to the airport. If your flight is delayed significantly, it will be more comfortable to wait it out at home. Also, if the system takes longer than expected to come back online, it’s possible that your flight may be canceled altogether, so a trip to the airport would be in vain.
Austin airport is already assuming that even passengers flying later in the day can expect to be affected, stating, “arriving and departing passengers can expect delays this morning and through the day.”
#AUSAlert: An FAA system outage is causing ground stops at AUS and other airports across the country. Arriving & departing passengers can expect delays this morning & through the day.
✈️ Please stay in contact with your airline & check your flight status before heading to AUS.
— Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) (@AUStinAirport) January 11, 2023
Southwest has also warned travelers to stay updated with the latest information stating, “please check your flight status in the Southwest app or on Southwest.com for any flight status changes.” Travelers flying with other airlines should make sure to check with their respective carriers as well.