Early Wednesday, thousands of flights were canceled in the state of the U.S. after the power computer outage which occurred overnight hence, causing passengers to sit on the departing flights. The background of the whole turn-off issue was blurred as no one had knowledge of the important facts. The Federal Aviation Administration looks into it.
More than 4,300 flights were postponed and 700 were canceled. The officials stated that it will take hours to recover from this change and havoc. After the pilots’ alerting system ended, most domestic flights were put to a halt while the administration was required to give a thorough check to the system at 2 AM.
The FAA is expected to keep a ‘ground stop’ where it can discuss what happened and why the flights were treated this way. Passengers wait in long lines with heavy items of luggage. Flights that were in the midst of traveling during the ongoing process of the issue were allowed to continue to their respective destinations.
Before flying any plane, the pilots are advised to reach out to NOTAMs, Notice To Air Missions, where they can list down issues with the journey on the plane which has a potentially high chance to occur. This way the passengers traveling can get the idea. The NOTAMs (Notice to Airmen) system has traditionally been a paper-based system, but with the advancement of technology, it is now mostly accessed electronically.
According to a report by AP News, more than 21,000 flights were on the schedule for the U.S. today out of which 1,840 were said to be international. Planes were standing in large amounts outside the departure gates at U.S. airports as the flights were called off.
To the causes and backside story, Biden comments “We don’t know”. Before leaving the White House early Wednesday for his wife’s medical checkup, Biden said that he was informed of the situation from Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg saying he does not know much as of yet.
The Aviation officers and insiders cannot remember such a similar situation where flights were canceled in large numbers due to the system breakdown. Though some match it with September 2001 when terror attacks caused the flights to call off.
Tim Campbell, an ex-senior vice president of Air Operations of American airlines stated: “So much of their old mainframe systems are generally reliable but they are out of date”. John Cox, an ex-airline pilot said that FAA has been improving the NOTAM system but he cannot say whether all of this was due to a cyberattack on the system. He said, “I have been flying for 53 years and I have not witnessed the system go out like this, so something unusual happened”.
FAA’s system outage came soon after the SouthWest Airlines flight cancelations after the Christmas holidays. Earlier this month, due to a system outage with another airline, flights were called off in Florida as well.
It is believed that 200 prolonged international flights get canceled, runways close down, hazards to the birds occur, and causing of construction obstacles.
Flights for the Air Military of the U.S. were not affected.