Flights resume after FAA computer outage grounds airlines nationwide

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) – Departing flights across the United States were grounded Wednesday morning after the Federal Aviation Administration said it had experienced a computer outage.

It all started in the early morning hours when a critical computer that pilots rely on for airport information went down. It’s called the NOTAM computer, the “Notice to Air Missions.”

It’s that computer that tells pilots if a runway is down if they’ve got, for example, construction equipment on the ramp somewhere.

That’s critical because the airlines run about 25,000 commercial airline flights every day across the country. And of course, air traffic control is trying to vector all of those pilots safely through the airspace. And every day you’ve got about 2.5 million airline passengers flying.

The bottom line is that because of that computer system going down, the FAA said domestic airlines could not take off until for a few hours. The ripple effect started with that and the delays and cancellations mounted.

The issue created a domino effect. One delay and one cancellation creates another, creates another, creates another.

It started on the East Coast and began rolling across the country. The good news is, for the most part aside from California, the weather across the country has been pretty good and therefore that’s not a contributing factor.

The FAA is looking into it what caused the computer system to go down.

The FBI says, so far, there’s no indication of a cyberattack.

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