(Trends Wide) — A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) system that provides pilots with information they should read before they fly is experiencing a disruption affecting flights in the United States.
It is not clear how many flights will be affected, because some airlines may operate without the information from the system, known as the NOTAMS system, or Notice for Air Missions.
The FAA says “some features are starting to come back online,” but added that it would take time to figure it out. An earlier notice read: “Technicians are currently working to restore the system and there is no estimate for service restoration at this time.”
“We are performing final validation checks and repopulating the system now,” an FAA statement said. “Operations throughout the National Airspace System are affected. We will provide frequent updates as we progress.”
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg tweeted this morning: “I have contacted the FAA this morning about an outage affecting a key system for providing safety information to pilots. The FAA is working to quickly and safely resolve this issue so air traffic can resume normal operations and will continue to provide updates.”
The association representing US airlines, Airlines for America, says the outage is “causing significant operational delays.”
United Airlines said it has temporarily delayed all domestic flights.
American Airlines said in a statement that it is “closely monitoring the situation, which affects all airlines, and working with the FAA to minimize disruption to our operations and customers.”
The NOTAMS system experiencing the outage provides “critical flight safety operation information,” the airline says.
FlightAware, which tracks delays and cancellations, showed that nearly 1,200 flights to, from and within the United States were delayed as of 6:45 a.m. ET, but only 93 flights canceled so far.
NOTAMS are used by commercial airline pilots to obtain real-time information on flight hazards and restrictions. The FAA stipulates that NOTAMS should not be relied on as the sole source of information, so some flights may satisfy safety requirements by using other data.
The status of flights to the United States
Flights to the United States continue to take off from Amsterdam and Paris despite an FAA system outage that caused widespread outages in the US.
A Schiphol airport spokesperson told Trends Wide that “an alternative solution had been issued” and therefore flights were still leaving from Amsterdam.
No flights have been canceled from Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport, but delays are expected, according to the airport’s press office. Frankfurt Airport also told Trends Wide that it had not been affected.
A Heathrow airport spokesperson told Trends Wide that they were “not aware of the canceled flights and that the flights to the US had recently departed” but would send an updated statement soon.