Nationwide FAA system outage affects hundreds of flights at DIA

A computer system outage at the Federal Aviation Administration Tuesday night has caused over 300 flights at Denver International Airport to be delayed after the agency grounded all domestic departures for several hours early Wednesday morning.

The FAA’s Notice to Air Missions system, which pilots use to check for closed runways, equipment outages, and other potential hazards along a flight route or at a location that could affect their flights, shut down about 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.

All domestic departures in the U.S. were grounded at about 5 a.m. Wednesday, but even as flights were gradually being allowed to resume by 7 a.m. as the FAA restored the system, the effects are still being felt as thousands of flights across the U.S. were delayed.

More than 3,700 flights were delayed and more than 640 were canceled Wednesday, AP reported.

Locally, Denver International Airport has 315 delayed flights, nearly evenly split between arrivals and departures, according to FlightAware. Southwest Airlines has over 180 delays through Denver.

There are also 55 canceled flights through Denver, with 49 of those also being through Southwest Airlines.

President Joe Biden said Wednesday night he has been briefed by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttiegeg on the situation and directed him to investigate the cause.

“I just spoke to Buttigieg. They don’t know what the cause is. But I was on the phone with him about 10 minutes,” Biden said. “I told him to report directly to me when they find out. Air traffic can still land safely, just not take off right now. We don’t know what the cause of it is.”

Buttigieg said in a tweet that he is in touch with the FAA and monitoring the situation.

This comes just weeks after a winter storm caused nationwide havoc with air travel around the Christmas holiday.


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