On Wednesday morning, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration suffered a nationwide technical outage that forced airlines to pause all domestic departures until 9 a.m. ET. The issue was due to a failure of the FAA’s NOTAM (Notice to Air Missions) system, which alerts pilots and other personnel about airborne issues and other delays at airports across the country.
The outage caused some 400 flights to be canceled, according to FlightAware, a flight tracking service. Additionally, the tracker showed that more than 2,500 flights within, into, and out of the U.S. were delayed. The delays were spread across the country and affected multiple carriers.
United Airlines announced its decision to ground all of its aircraft until 10 a.m. ET due to the outage. American Airlines said the situation “impacts all airlines” and that it was “working with the F.A.A. to minimize disruption to our operation and customers.”
The F.A.A. is “still working” to resolve the issue, it said Wednesday morning. In a statement, the agency said it was “beginning to come back on line” and that it was “performing final validation checks and repopulating the system now.” While it is unclear what caused the outage, the F.A.A. has said it is taking steps to ensure the integrity of flight and safety information.
The disruption comes at a particularly inconvenient time for travelers in the midst of the busy summer season. Those who were affected by the system failure are encouraged to contact their airline for information on any potential compensation or refunds.
The F.A.A. is continuing to work to restore its systems and is urging passengers to check their flight status prior to heading to the airport.