Flights across US hit by a technical glitch

There is no evidence of a cyberattack at this point.
Ameya Paleja
People at airport
People at airport

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All domestic flights in the U.S. have been suspended until 09:00 ET (14:00 GMT) following a glitch with the national control system's Notice to Air Missions System, BBC reported.

According to the Federal Aviation Authority's website, a Notice to Air Missions (NOTAMs) is a notice that contains information essential to personnel concerned with flight operations but cannot be issued far enough in advance to be publicized through other means. The notice states the abnormal status of a component of the National Airspace System (NAS).

The NAS is a network of both controlled and uncontrolled airspace and includes information about air navigation facilities, airports and landing areas, manpower, material, and other information needed to provide air traffic service across the 29 million square miles of U.S. airspace.

What do NOTAMs do?

NOTAMs are used to communicate the abnormal status of the NAS in real time to every user impacted by it. NOTAMs are issued when they concern the establishment, condition, or change in any facility, service, procedure, or hazard in the NAS.

According to the FAA, NOTAMs use a unique language using special contractions that make communication more efficient.

NOTAMs are issued on a short-term basis to personnel concerned with flight operations to help them stay aware of changes to flight operations or potential hazards to flights. NOTAMs are distributed through a variety of sources ranging from flight information publications and websites to flight planning software.

Flights across US hit by a technical glitch
Examples of NOTAM

Pilots are expected to check NOTAMs before taking off since it is an important tool in ensuring the safety and efficiency of flight operations.

What happened to the NOTAM system in the U.S.?

According to the FAA, a technical glitch caused an outage in the Notice to Air Mission Systems, and the authority was working to restore it.

During this period, the FAA had ordered all airlines to pause their domestic operations to allow the agency to validate the integrity of flight and safety information while also declaring that all flights in the sky were safe to land.

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As per recent updates, the agency had made progress in restoring the system, and flight operations had resumed at New Jersey's Newark airport and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport due to air traffic congestion in the areas.

The FAA also expected departures to resume at other airports too by 9 am ET as the ground stop had been lifted.

The FAA is currently looking into the cause of the outage. The White House was briefed and has called for a full investigation into the causes of the outage even as there appears to be no evidence of a cyber attack at this point, BBC said in its report.