A No-Go for NOTAMs—Flight Delays Caused by Major Computer Issue


Severe weather caused significant flight delays during the holiday season, but with clearer skies, passengers resumed regular air travel until late evening Tuesday, January 10, 2023.

An overnight outage of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Notice to Air Missions System (NOTAMs) grounded thousands of flights in the U.S. on Wednesday morning, causing massive delays. Investigations are underway to determine the root cause of the situation now that the outage is over. Early reports indicate a damaged file may be responsible for the outage, but it does not appear the shutdown was due to a cyberattack.

Are We There Yet’s Grant Harrell, was following the story closely, and provided some context on the NOTAMs situation while flights were still in a holding pattern.

Grants Thoughts:

“Hi, this is Grant with Market Scales transportation, mobility focused video podcast series: Are We There Yet? And the question of the day today, Wednesday, January 11, is a return to normal flight operations after a major computer issue within the systems. Are we there yet? And unfortunately, as of about 9:00 AM central time today, Wednesday, the answer is no, Although the FAA is working very hard to resolve these issues, flights are still grounded and delays seen throughout the entire country.

This is a computer issue within their NOTAM system, which is the notice to air mission system. It keeps pilots and other flight personnel aware of ground and air hazards, things like closed runways, navigational issues, for example and this system is down in causing these delays throughout the country.

Flight aware leading flight tracking service as hundreds of flights grounded throughout the United States. Another source says about 2,500 plus flights in total that have been grounded due to these issues. And everyone within the industry, especially the FAA working very hard one pilot says he’s never seen anything like this happen.

Very much a unique issue. One family, for example, in Hawaii has been on their plane for about five hours now waiting for their flight to take off. So myself and everyone within the industry are very much watching this issue and hoping that things get resolved shortly.”

Article by James Kent

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