Full coverage of Wednesday’s FAA shutdown that suspended flights nationwide

The Federal Aviation Administration is trying to figure out what caused a critical air safety shutdown on Wednesday morning, causing all domestic flights to be suspended for more than 90 minutes to start the day. This outage resulted in hundreds of flights from Dallas airports being canceled or delayed.

The FAA canceled its ground stops at airports across the country just before 8:00 a.m. CT and flights began to take off again after a system-wide failure of the FAA’s Notification of Air Missions (NOTAM) system, which relays critical information to aircraft and pilots.

Here’s a snapshot of the Dallas Morning News reporting on Wednesday’s outage and its aftermath:

FAA seeks answers after technical glitch has suspended flights across the country

American Airlines suspended domestic flights from other airports bound for DFW between 10:00 a.m. and 11:25 a.m., according to the FAA and the agency slowed flights to other airports such as Denver International due to airspace congestion as systems returned to online mode.

While thousands of flights have been delayed, disruptions will continue to seep through the system today as airlines struggle to reschedule planes and crew members. It comes just days after Dallas-based Southwest Airlines suffered a massive cancellation that forced it to cancel more than 16,700 flights to end the holiday season.

Dallas-based Southwest Airlines delayed almost half of its flights Wednesday, 1,774 as of 10:30 a.m., while Fort Worth-based American delayed more than a third of its flights, according to Flightaware.com flight tracking service. Southwest also canceled 360 flights on Wednesday, about 9% of its schedule, while American canceled 180 flights, or 6% of its daily schedule. This includes more than 210 delays and 37 cancellations at Dallas Love Field, home of Southwest Airlines, and 400 delays and 51 cancellations at DFW International Airport, America’s largest hub.

“Due to the FAA shutdown, we expect some schedule adjustments to be made throughout the day,” Southwest spokesman Dan Landson said.

Southwest and United are among the airlines that have begun allowing passengers on flights scheduled for Wednesday to roll over their tickets for free for the next two weeks.

Full story here

Travelers from Dallas hope for the best as flights resume after FAA issues on Wednesday morning

At Dallas Love Field, Nicole Vowell joined a small group of passengers staring slack-jawed at a board showing departures and arrivals.

She and her sister, both from Oklahoma City, drove to Dallas Tuesday night to board a Southwest flight to San Diego.

On Saturday, they were going to California to celebrate their grandmother’s 93rd birthday.

“We were supposed to leave at 7:40,” Vauel said, looking through the list of delays. “Then it was 2:40, then 11:15, then 11:30. And now I can’t even see our flight.”

The sisters were preparing for the fact that they might have to travel to San Diego in time for the birthday celebration.

Full story here

What is NOTAM? Feds Blame Critical Flight System for Ground Stops and Delays Nationwide

The FAA blamed the failure on a problem with its air mission notification system, or NOTAM. This system is a critical component of all civil and military flights in the United States and alerts pilots to hazards or other problems they may encounter during a departure, flight, or arrival.

NOTAM alerts may include information about runway conditions, weather, airport construction, or the presence of hazards, including drones, military or paratroopers, near the aircraft’s flight path.

Before takeoff, pilots must “always check” 25 nautical miles on either side of the flight path for NOTAMs that could affect their operations, according to the FAA.

Full story here

Here’s How The Internet Reacted To The FAA Crash On Wednesday Morning

Despite the warning being lifted, the outage is expected to cause delays throughout the day. Passengers are fed up with the mess and are demanding answers as the vacation trip hasn’t yet come out of the rearview mirror.

“Of course, the day I travel, the entire FAA collapses,” one user tweeted.

Another shared the news of the outage and wrote: “My flight back to Dallas is currently delayed. I’m so ready to leave Chicago.”

Flight disruptions have been the focus of congressional lawmakers, who have often criticized both what they see as the airline industry’s cozy attitude and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s lax enforcement of consumer protection laws aimed at protecting travelers.

“All flights in America suspended due to FAA computer error,” Congressman Troy Nels tweeted. Pete Buttigieg is on vacation again?

Full story here

Were you affected by the outage on Wednesday? Email [email protected] to share your story.

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