FAA System Failure Grounds Flights Across The Country

The FAA’s NOTAM system, which alerts about procedures and risks in flight, went down and the failure has led to hours-long delays and possible flight cancellations even as the air travel delay begins.

Several hundred delays have already been logged domestically before 6 a.m. Eastern. The FAA reports that “Technicians are currently working to restore the system,” but had no further comment beyond what was listed on their website.

Passengers have been complaining about the situation on social media.

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Coming up on the mark of sitting on a grounded red eye flight from @flyLAXairport, with still no publicly available update from @FAANews… love it.@AmericanAir you have an inside scoop yet on the NOTAM failure/restoration?

— Taylor Brasher (@taylorbrasher) January 11, 2023

Two hour delay at LIH due to the #NOTAM outage.

— Sheri Hickson (@SheriLouBerry) January 11, 2023

While the Secretary of Transportation was all over television during the holidays lambasting Southwest Airlines for its flight cancellations, demanding compensation for passengers, don’t expect him to advocate for anyone inconvenienced by his own FAA’s failures. Similarly, don’t expect to be treated as well as Southwest passengers if you were stuck for more than a day in rural South Carolina on government rail which is regulated by the DOT’s Federal Railroad Administration.

Update 7 a.m. Eastern: FAA says they’re in the process of bringing the system back online:

Cleared Update No. 2 for all stakeholders: ⁰⁰The FAA is still working to fully restore the Notice to Air Missions system following an outage. ⁰⁰While some functions are beginning to come back on line, National Airspace System operations remain limited.

— The FAA ✈️ (@FAANews) January 11, 2023

Update 7:30 a.m. Eastern: all departures paused until at least 9 a.m. Eastern.

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

Update 8:50 a.m. Eastern: the ground stop has been lifted, but delays are going to cascade throughout the day because planes are behind schedule. And crew will eventually time out, requiring replacement with reserves where available. To the extent some flights do not complete today that they have an effect into Thursday as well.

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