US domestic flights resume hours after major air traffic control disruption | Abroad

Air traffic within the United States is restarting after it was halted due to a technical fault. All domestic flights are resuming, according to the FAA. The order to keep the plane on the ground for the time being has been withdrawn.

Air traffic control in the United States today suffered a malfunction in the system used to notify pilots of problems en route. Pilots can read in the so-called Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) that there is, for example, a hurricane and which runways are closed. The system for sending these messages has been down since last night. Technicians were only able to solve the problems at 15:00 Dutch time. All domestic flights in the US therefore had to be grounded for hours.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says it is working hard on a solution. Until then, the airlines were not allowed to operate domestic flights. Since 2:15 p.m., air traffic has started cautiously again from the airports in Atlanta and Newark. Other airports were allowed to fly again from

Big consequences

The disruption had major consequences for the country’s busy aviation sector. Images from, among others, Flightradar24 showed live how fewer planes flew over the country than usual. In the direction of major airports like Atlanta, a stream of planes would land. Planes still in the air should not expect any problems, the FAA said.

“Operations throughout the national airspace are affected,” the FAA said. President Biden is also aware. According to his press spokesman, there are no signs of a cyber attack. He wants to know within a few hours what the cause of the problem was.

Planes bound for Atlanta, where many planes had to wait until they were allowed to fly again. © Flightradar24

No problems in Europe

Several European airlines said they were not affected by the outage. Schiphol has announced that there are no disruptions to operations. The KLM planes were also able to fly normally despite the fault, a spokeswoman for the company reported. Lufthansa and Air France also said they could continue to fly to and from the US.

Air Traffic Control Holland (LVNL) also did not notice the error. According to a spokesman, flights from the US to Europe usually depart later in the day because of the time difference. Any disruptions to the arrival of flights to the Netherlands would therefore only happen on Thursday morning, but this is not the case. In any case, LVNL expects the impact to be small. Flights to the US were also not affected by the disruption.

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