Nationwide FAA system failure causes flight delays and cancellations
The FAA experienced a computer outage that caused a nationwide ground stop on January 11th, 2023, preventing flight crews from accessing safety information and causing thousands of flights to be delayed or canceled. The cause of the outage is being investigated, with no evidence of a cyberattack at this point. The FAA is working to restore the Notice to Air Missions System, which provides safety information to flight crews. The President has directed the Department of Transportation to conduct a full investigation into the causes. The outage may impact travel insurance plans and airlines may offer refunds or vouchers to affected passengers. It is advisable for travelers to contact their airlines for flight status updates and check their travel insurance policies for coverage.
The FAA is working to restore the Notice to Air Missions System (NOTAMs) which provides safety information to flight crews. NOTAMs used to be available through a hotline, but with the internet, it was phased out. The alerts cover a range of information from construction at airports to urgent flight restrictions or broken equipment. According to FAA advisories, the NOTAM system failed at 8:28 pm Eastern on Tuesday, preventing new or amended notices from being distributed to pilots. The FAA resorted to a telephone hotline in an effort to keep departures flying overnight, but as daytime traffic picked up it overwhelmed the telephone backup system.
This incident may have an impact on travel insurance plans, as many travel insurance policies cover trip cancellations and delays due to unforeseen events such as weather or mechanical issues. It is advisable for travelers to contact their airlines for flight status updates and check their travel insurance policies for coverage. Some airlines may offer refunds or vouchers to affected passengers. The FAA said that it would provide frequent updates as it made progress in restoring the NOTAM system.