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U.S. Air Travel Industry Picks Up After ‘FAA’ Computer Outage

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U.S. Air Travel Industry Picks Up After 'FAA' Computer Outage

(CTN NEWS) – WASHINGTON – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) worked frantically throughout the night to resolve a system breakdown that had halted all U.S. departing aircraft. U.S. flights were gradually starting to resume departures, and a ground stop was removed.

According to the FlightAware website, approximately 1,000 flights were canceled and more than 6,000 flights were delayed due to the halt, which required hours to recover from. The figures kept increasing.

Uncertainty surrounded the origin of a pilot-alerting system issue that caused thousands of flights in the US to be delayed, but U.S. officials claimed they had not yet discovered any proof of a hack.

The interruption happened right after the holiday travel season, which is usually a down time, but demand is still high since travel is getting back to levels similar to before the pandemic.

Passengers wait for the resumption of flights at O’Hare International Airport after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had ordered airlines to pause all domestic departures due to a system outage, in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 11, 2023. REUTERS/Jim Vondruska

“Following a system outage that occurred overnight to the Notice to Air Missions system, which transmits safety information to flight crews, normal air traffic operations are gradually returning across the United States.

The ground stop is no longer in effect. We are still investigating what caused the original issue,” Tweeted the FAA

Sources claim that Russian airline Aeroflot purchased 10 Boeing 777 from the Russian bank VEB.

Even after the ground halt was canceled, other flights continued to be affected. Airlines are having trouble getting flights in and out of packed gates, adding to the lengthy delays.

Justin Kennedy canceled a business trip to nearby Charlotte at a Greenville, South Carolina airport. According to him, confusion ruled because many passengers were originally ignorant of the delays and airline personnel were unclear of what the FAA was stating.

The 30-year-old information technology worker claimed, “I sat in a Chick-fil-A dining area with a nice view of the TSA exit.”

“I witnessed at least four people running to the gates in a panic that they would miss their flight, only to return to the food court gasping for air.”

An aircraft approaches to land at Miami International Airport after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said it had slowed the volume of airplane traffic over Florida due to an air traffic computer issue, in Miami, Florida, U.S. January 2, 2023. REUTERS/Marco Bello

RAPPLE IMPACTS

The Allied Pilots Association’s vice president, Captain Chris Torres, stated that the disruption would affect traffic into Friday.

“At nine in the morning Eastern, this was lifted. That does not imply that the issue is resolved by 9 a.m. This will have reverberating repercussions, “said Torres, an American Airlines flight crew member.

The outcome of this will resemble severe weather conditions greatly.

After its pilot warning system broke and the FAA had to execute a hard reset at around 2 a.m., authorities said, the agency had earlier instructed airlines to halt all domestic departures.

Current flights were permitted to fly on to their destinations.

American President Joe Biden requested an investigation from the Transportation Department and stated that the cause of the incident was not known. When asked if a cyberattack caused the disruption, Biden responded, “We don’t know.”

A view of flights parked at the Orlando International Airport, as flights were grounded after FAA system outage, in Orlando, Florida, U.S., January 11, 2023 in this picture obtained from social media. Lou Mongello/via REUTERS

Pete Buttigieg, the transportation secretary, promised a “process to identify fundamental problems and provide future steps.”

Prior to the market opening on Wednesday, shares of U.S. carriers initially decreased, but the majority of them increased as flights resumed.

While passengers wait to board at Washington’s Reagan International Airport, they can see an American Airlines aircraft.

The S&P 500 airlines index (.SPLRCAIR), which experienced a more than 19% decrease last year, marking its third straight year of decline, is off to a solid start this year, up 15.5%, as travelers start flying again.

A view of the air traffic control tower at O’Hare International Airport after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ordered airlines to pause all domestic departures due to a system outage, in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 11, 2023. REUTERS/Jim Vondruska

Shares of American Airlines (AAL.O), United Airlines (UAL.O), and Delta Air Lines Inc. all increased while shares of Southwest Airlines (LUV.N) remained unchanged. Spirit (SAVE.N) and JetBlue (JBLU.O) both saw gains of roughly 2%.

Airlines and other members of the U.S. travel industry’s trade association referred to the FAA system failure as “catastrophic.”

Geoff Freeman, president of the U.S. Travel Association, stated that “America’s transportation network sorely needs significant changes.” “We urge federal authorities to update our essential aviation infrastructure.

A Westjet Airlines jet lands in front of planes backed up waiting to depart on the runway after flights earlier were grounded during an FAA system outage at Laguardia Airport in New York City, New York, U.S., January 11, 2023. REUTERS/Mike Sega

“TOTALLY INTOLERABLE”

There aren’t many choices for Americans who travel long distances by air. The country’s passenger rail network is sparse compared to those in Europe and Asia, and driving distances are excessively great.

Democratic senator Maria Cantwell, who chairs the Senate Commerce Committee, promised an investigation.

“We will investigate the circumstances surrounding this failure and how redundancy contributes to preventing further disruptions, “She added.

The failure was deemed “totally unacceptable” by Republican Senator Ted Cruz, who added that changes should be made as part of the FAA renewal, which is expected by September.

A few weeks after Southwest’s operational failure at the end of last year, which left thousands of passengers stranded, the FAA’s system went down.

Stranded passengers wait at the Orlando International Airport, as flights were grounded after FAA system outage, in Orlando, Florida, U.S., January 11, 2023 in this picture obtained from social media. Lou Mongello/via REUTERS

Over 16,000 flights were canceled due to the Texas-based airline’s outdated technology and a harsh winter storm just before Christmas.

The DOT, the FAA’s parent organization, condemned Southwest’s shortcomings and put pressure on the airline to make amends. The FAA is not required by law to pay passengers for delays brought on by the agency’s computer systems.

On January 2, the FAA encountered a serious computer malfunction once more, which resulted in lengthy delays for flights to Florida.

The FAA ordered a ground halt, which slowed traffic into Florida airports, due to an issue with the En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) system used to regulate air traffic.

A NOTAM is a notice containing details crucial to those involved in flight operations but not known long enough in advance to be made public in other ways.

Passengers wait for the resumption of flights at O’Hare International Airport after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had ordered airlines to pause all domestic departures due to a system outage, in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 11, 2023. REUTERS/Jim Vondruska

An air traffic control measure known as a ground stop delays or stops airplanes at a certain airport.

Data from Cirium indicated that a total of 21,464 planes with a combined passenger capacity of approximately 2.9 million were scheduled to leave the United States on Wednesday.

Rodney Allen got stuck in Newark while traveling with pals from Cincinnati to Puerto Rico for a vacation.

The 25-year-old entrepreneur added, “Once we landed, passengers on the plane reported flights were grounded.” His companions had been given travel credits, but he still had the choice to check in for his flight to Puerto Rico.”

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Alishba Waris is an independent journalist working for CTN News. She brings a wealth of experience and a keen eye for detail to her reporting. With a knack for uncovering the truth, Waris isn't afraid to ask tough questions and hold those in power accountable. Her writing is clear, concise, and cuts through the noise, delivering the facts readers need to stay informed. Waris's dedication to ethical journalism shines through in her hard-hitting yet fair coverage of important issues.

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