a computer failure paralyzes air traffic across the country

No plane is authorized to take off before 3 p.m. French time from American tarmacs.

the US civil aviation regulator (FAA) announced on Wednesday that all flights from the United States would be suspended until 9 a.m. on the east coast as a widespread blackout affects an information system for pilots and crews. “The FAA has ordered airlines to halt all domestic departures until 9 a.m. EST (3 p.m. in France, editor’s note) to allow the agency to confirm the integrity of flight and safety information“, said the authority in a press release.

She had previously said “continue to work on the full restoration of its air mission information system following an outage“. “Although some functions are starting to come back online, operations of the national air system remain limited“, she added.

The spokesperson for the White HouseKarine Jean-Pierre, said on Twitter that there was at this stage “no sign of a cyberattack“. President Joe Biden, however, has “asked the Ministry of Transport to carry out a full investigation into the causesof the incident, she said.

From Baltimore to Ottawa

Several airports in North America (Ottawa, Baltimore, Austin) warned that delays were to be expected and asked travelers to check their flight status before heading to the airport. The American company United Airlines, for its part, confirmed, in a press release obtained by AFP, that it had “temporarily delayed all domestic flightsdue to the failure. “We are closely monitoring the situation and working with the FAA to minimize disruption to customers.“, for its part assured American Airlines in a separate press release.

The Notice To Air Missions System (NOTAM), the system affected by the outage, is used to transmit information to aircrew regarding risks, developments at airports and other crucial information. The FAA said the operation of NOTAM was “altered“.

There were at least 3,578 delayed flights in the United States as of 8 a.m. (2 p.m. in France) on the east coast of the country, according to flight tracking site Flight Aware. The number of delays being related to the outage was unclear. US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said on Twitter that he was “in contact with the FAA” re “this failure affecting a key system to provide safety information to pilots“. “The FAA is working to resolve this issue quickly and safely so air traffic can resume normal operations, and will continue to provide updates.added the minister.

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