As of Wednesday night east coast time, nearly 10,000 flights in and out of the US have been delayed and more than 1,300 have been canceled.
The disruption was due to a “ database file that was damaged “ said FAA adding “at this moment there is no evidence of a cyber attack”.
Flights taking off again at 09:00 ET (14:00 GMT) have warned of further delays. Major Airports were affected including Denver to Atlanta to New York City nationwide.
The following technical fault marked for the first time in nearly two decades of flights across the US were grounded.
From Thursday onwards the operations will be expected to delay further as airlines try to get the planes in and out of the crowded gates. Impacting how long the staff can work.
“The system was lifted at 9 am Eastern. That can’t be said that the issue will resolve at 9 am. This will have a ripple effect.”Captain Chris Torres, vice-president of the Allied Pilots Association told Reuters. “ Delays would last till the Friday” he further added.
US Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told CNN that the FAA has grounded flights out of “an abundance of caution” after it noticed certain irregularities with its Notice to Air Missions System.
According to FAA, “the system gives real-time safety information to pilots, about potential hazards like equipment outages, closed runways, locations that would affect the flight along the flight route”.
President Joe Biden has called for a “full investigation”, said the White House press secretary.
“ In my primary interest, now we have gotten through the immediate disruptions of the morning flights and we are understanding the best possible ways to make sure this situation won’t occur again,” said Mr. Buttgieg. Officials are still working on the situation he further added and will find the root cause of the issue.
International travel is widely affected, as tourism declined
American Airlines which mainly operates in North America annually is working closely with the FAA to minimize customer disruption.
Waiving changes in fees, United Airlines will make difference in fare for customers rescheduling flights departing on and before 16 January 2023.
Delta said we are safely focused on managing our operations and ground stop all carriers during this morning’s FAA ground stop and will provide any updates as soon as possible.
The outage impacted cross-border operations on Wednesday, but it couldn’t determine to what degree said Air Canada. The carrier would place a “goodwill policy” so affected passengers can reschedule their travel plans.
Meanwhile, Air France is monitoring the situation as the US flights coming to airports in Paris- Paris Charles de Gaulle and Orly expected delays.
For UK passengers, British Airways said its flights to and from the US will operate as planned. While Virgin Atlantic said it would continue to operate as scheduled US flights from the UK. However, for some US departures, the flights will be affected by delays.
Flights from Germany’s Lufthansa and Spain’s Iberia were operating normally for the US and will continue operating normally for now.
Passengers expressing their discomfort on social media
“This wasn’t the best day to fly. FAA grounded flights this morning causing our first flight to be delayed, then canceled”, quoted Brittney Gobble on her Facebook. Further adding American Airlines was not able to reschedule her flight until Thursday.
“Just another reminder of why I prefer taking a drive”, wrote Ms. Gobble.
Michael Remy who arrived from Virginia at 6:00 ET planning to travel to North Carolina had his flight delayed right from boarding.
Javen Gonzalves, who lives in Wichita, Kansas, said his flight connecting to Portland via Denver had been delayed thrice. “I’m not letting this disrupt my vacation”, Mr. Gonzalves told BBC.