(KBTV) From the associated press
BY MICHELLE CHAPMAN
NEW YORK (AP) — A computer outage at the Federal Aviation Administration brought flights to a standstill across the U.S. on Wednesday, with hundreds of delays quickly cascading through the system at airports nationwide.
The FAA ordered all U.S. flights to delay departures until at least 9 a.m. Eastern, though airlines said they were aware of the situation and had already begun grounding flights.
Delays and cancellations accelerated rapidly, with more than 3,700 stuck on the ground around 8:30 a.m. Eastern, more than all the delayed flights for the entirety of the previous day, according to the flight tracking website FlightAware. More than 550 have been cancelled, and that number was ticking higher quickly.
Those numbers are likely to grow, and the groundings impact almost all aircraft, including shipping and passenger flights.
More than 21,000 flights were scheduled to take off in the U.S. today, mostly domestic trips, and about 1,840 international flights expected to fly to the U.S., according to aviation data firm Cirium.
Some medical flights can get clearance and the outage is not impacting military operations.
Early Wednesday, flights for the U.S. military’s Air Mobility Command had not been impacted, said Air Force Col. Damien Pickart, a spokesman for Air Mobility Command is responsible for all the troop movement and supply flights, such as the C-17s that carry the president’s motorcade vehicles when he travels, but also all the flights that transport troops from one base to another. Air Mobility Command was working with the FAA on the issue.
While the White House initially said that there is no evidence of a cyberattack, President Joe Biden said “we don’t know” and told reporters he’s directed the Department of Transportation to investigate the cause of the disruption.
President Joe Biden addressed the FAA issue Wednesday before leaving the White House to accompany his wife to a medical procedure at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center outside of Washington. He said he had just been briefed by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who told him they still had not identified what went wrong.