The White House on Wednesday (local time) said it has not seen evidence of a cyberattack being the cause of a system outage at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that has caused hundreds of flights to be delayed.
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.”
The overnight outage caused widespread inconvenience, with thousands of flights throughout the country delayed.
Meanwhile, the FAA removed its order to halt all domestic aircraft departures across the US on Wednesday after restoring the system that provides pilots with pre-flight safety notices, CNN reported.
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden was briefed on the outage and spoke with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Wednesday morning.
“They don’t know what the cause is,” Biden told reporters, adding, “I told them to report directly to me when they find out. Aircraft can still land safely, just not take off right now. They don’t know what the cause of it is, they expect in a couple of hours they’ll have a good sense of what caused it and will respond at that time.”
It was the latest snag to hit air travel in the country, coming roughly two weeks after Southwest Airlines cancelled more than half of its flights over a three-day period after Christmas, leaving thousands of passengers stranded.
The US regulatory body, FAA, had put a ground stop order in place after its NOTAM — or Notice to Air Missions — system failed. The FAA lifted the order shortly before 9pm (7:30pm IST) and the agency said normal air traffic operations have resumed across the country. It said it was still trying to determine the cause of the problem, according to CNN.
Earlier, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) informed all flight operators about the airspace system failure, as all flights across US were grounded after a technical glitch in the computer system of the FAA. As per the report, over 400 flights were delayed.
US-based United air said in a statement, “The FAA system that sends out important real-time flight hazards & restrictions to all commercial airline pilots – Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) – is currently suffering a nationwide outage. United has temporarily delayed all domestic flights and will issue an update when we learn more from the FAA.”