FAA Outage Traced to “Damaged Database File”

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) came to a drastic standstill, temporarily grounding all domestic flights and causing chaos in airports nationwide. 

The agency said it traced the mass system outage that day to a “damaged database file.” The agency added that there was “no evidence of a cyber attack” and that it is “continuing a thorough review to determine the root cause.”

The FAA says an outage of its Notice to Air Missions System — which sends safety and other important notifications to pilots — led to the delays.

Normal air traffic operations slowly resumed. But not before nearly 10,000 flights in and out of the US had been delayed and more than 1,300 were canceled.

And delays are expected to continue throughout the week as airlines try to get planes in and out of crowded gates. Limits on how long staff can work may also have an impact.

The technical issues marked the first time in nearly two decades that flights across the US were grounded.

However, it also marks the second major disruption of U.S. air travel in the past month. A winter storm in December led to thousands of flight delays and cancellations over the holidays. 

President Joe Biden had called for a “full investigation”, the White House press secretary said.

Republican lawmakers are calling on the Biden administration to enact reforms to the FAA, which has been without a permanent leader since March 2022. 

The Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in an interview that the FAA had grounded flights out of “an abundance of caution” after it noticed irregularities with its Notice to Air Missions System.

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