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Flights grounded across the U.S. after FAA system outage

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U.S. flights were grounded or delayed on Wednesday as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) scrambled to fix a system outage, with passengers told to check with airlines for updates.

The FAA said it had ordered airlines to pause all domestic departures until 9 a.m. ET (1400 GMT) to allow the agency to validate the integrity of flight and safety information.

Flights already in the air were allowed to continue to their destinations.

The FAA said it was working to restore a system that alerts pilots to hazards and changes to airport facilities and procedures that had stopped processing updated information.

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“The FAA is still working to fully restore the Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) system following an outage. While some functions are beginning to come back online, National Airspace System operations remain limited,” the FAA said on Twitter.

A total of 1,230 flights were delayed within, into, or out of the United States as of 7.19 am ET (1219 GMT), flight tracking website FlightAware showed, without citing reasons. Another 103 within, into, or out of the country were also canceled.

Shares of U.S. carriers fell in Wednesday’s premarket trading. Southwest Airlines was down 2.4%, while Delta Air Lines Inc (DAL.N), United Airlines (UAL.O), and American Airlines (AAL.O) were down about 1%.

In an earlier advisory on its website, the FAA said its NOTAM system had “failed”, although NOTAMs issued before the outage were still viewable.

A total of 21,464 flights are scheduled to depart airports in the United States on Wednesday with a carrying capacity of nearly 2.9 million passengers, data from Cerium shows.

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American Airlines has the most departures from U.S. airports with 4,819 flights scheduled, followed by Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines, Cirium data showed.

 

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