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Federal Aviation Administration Grounds All Domestic U.S. Flights

All domestic flights in the U.S. were grounded overnight Wednesday into the morning due to a technical error. Some flights gradually started to resume shortly before 9:00 am (eastern time).

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) worked overnight to restore a system that allows air traffic control to alert pilots when there are potential hazards on their flight path. Normal air traffic operations resumed just before 9am on Tuesday while agents continued to look into the original cause of the issue, according to an update from the FAA.

“We are performing final validation checks and reloading the system now. Operations across the National Airspace System are affected,” the FAA wrote on Twitter. “We will provide frequent updates as we make progress.”

Roughly an hour after their initial tweet, the FAA sent an update to followers, announcing that the agency had “ordered airlines to pause all domestic departures until 9am Eastern Time,” to allow for research to be done on the “integrity of flight and safety information.”

Delays for arriving and departing domestic flights are likely to be substantial Wednesday, just a few short weeks after a significant winter bomb cyclone disrupted tens of thousands of flights through the holiday season.

Twitter users were quick to express concerns over the total shutdown of domestic travel, with the CEO of Evercontact writing, “This is alarming. There should be an independent audit on such a large-scale incident. Is it due to obsolete equipment? is it a hack? Human error? Accountability is key to restoring trust in an industry that can’t allow mistakes!”

The FAA then retweeted a post from White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who noted that “there is no evidence of a cyberattack at this point, but the President directed the Department of Transportation to conduct a full investigation into the causes.” She furthered that the FAA would continue to provide regular updates.

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KAY SMYTHE

News and commentary writer.

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