An overnight system outage at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) caused the agency to pause all flights nationwide this morning as it worked to resolve the issue.
The FAA said it ordered the pause “to validate the integrity of flight and safety information,” following an outage to its Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) system. The NOTAM system can alert pilots before they fly to closed runways, equipment outages, and other potential hazards along a flight route.
The agency announced that normal air traffic operations were slowly resuming at around 8:50 a.m., and it is continuing to look into the cause of the outage.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre tweeted that “there is no evidence of a cyberattack at this point, but the president directed DoT to conduct a full investigation into the causes.”
Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said that while the safety system’s operations are now “fully restored,” he has “directed an after-action process to determine root causes and recommend next steps.”
“The most important thing I want passengers to know is our number one priority is safety,” he said in a separate statement. “Having said that, we also have to make sure we understand everything there is to understand about this situation so that we can ensure that a disruption like that doesn’t happen again.”
The outage caused the delay of thousands of flights in the U.S. this morning. This comes just weeks after Southwest Airlines canceled more than half of its flights over a three-day period due to winter storms and a breakdown with staffing technology.