The ground stop has been lifted and normal air traffic operations are resuming gradually across the U.S. following an overnight outage to the FAA’s notice to air missions (NOTAM) system.
NOTAMs provide essential information to pilots about abnormal status of a component of the national airspace system, such as ground-based navigational system failures at airports, GPS outages, and facility closures. Pilots are required to check for NOTAMs pertinent for their departure airport, route, and destination as part of preflight planning.
According to the FAA, the outage happened overnight, and the agency “ordered airlines to pause all domestic departures until 9 a.m. eastern time to allow the agency to validate the integrity of flight and safety information.” The agency continued to provide updates throughout the night as they worked to mitigate the situation.
According to FlightAware.com, approximately 4,000 flights were impacted by the outage. Aviation officials expect flight delays to continue to snowball as the day continues.
President Joe Biden told reporters this morning that he had been briefed on the situation and was communicating with the U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. The Secretary of Transportation is responsible for overseeing the FAA.
The cause of the outage has not been determined at this time. The FAA states “The agency continues to look into the cause of the initial problem.”
This is a developing story. FLYING will continue to update it as more information is available.