Chris Paul/Houston Public Media
The Houston Airport System says if you’re traveling from Bush Intercontinental or Hobby Airport, expect your flight to be delayed Wednesday.
The delay was the result of the Federal Aviation Administration grounding all U.S. flights earlier in the day due to a critical system outage, according to Houston Airport System spokesperson Augusto Bernal.
“It’s a great example of how interconnected the air travel industry is. It’s a big network,” he said.
As such, he suggests double-checking whether the flight actually departs as scheduled.
“If you are departing today, we recommend that you check with your airline to confirm the status of your flight.
The average flight delay from Hobby Airport on Wednesday morning was an hour and a half. It was an hour in Bush.
This comes just weeks after Southwest Airlines suspended most of its flights across the country during the holidays. This is also due to a technical glitch.
The White House initially said there was no evidence of a cyberattack behind the blackouts that ruined the travel plans of millions of passengers. Stated.
Whatever the cause, the outage reveals just how dependent the world’s largest economy is on air travel, and how much air travel relies on an outdated computer system called Notify Air Missions, or NOTAM. I made it
Before commencing a flight, pilots should consult NOTAM, which lists potential adverse effects on flight, from runway construction to potential icing. The system used to be telephone-based, with pilots seeking information from dedicated flight service stations, but it has gone online.
The NOTAM system malfunctioned late Tuesday, canceling more than 1,000 flights and delaying 7,000 flights by noon Wednesday, according to flight tracking website FlightAware.
Expect confusion to grow as backups become more complex. According to aviation data company Cirium, there are more than 21,000 flights scheduled today in the United States, mostly domestic travel, and about 1,840 international flights were scheduled to fly to the United States.
Between 30% and 40% of flights were delayed at airports in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Atlanta.
“This morning’s delay is going to have a ripple effect on the system during the day,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in an interview with CNN. “Now we need to understand how this happened in the first place. Why didn’t the normal redundancy that stops it being destructive this time?”
Long-time aviation insiders couldn’t recall a shutdown of such magnitude caused by a technology malfunction.
Tim Campbell, former senior vice president of aviation operations for American Airlines and now a consultant in Minneapolis, said, “There have been local issues here and there on a regular basis, but this is historically significant.
Campbell said he had long had concerns about not only the NOTAM system, but also the Federal Aviation Administration’s technology.
“A lot of their systems are old mainframe systems that are generally reliable, but outdated,” he said.
John Cox, a former airline pilot and aviation safety expert, says there has been talk in the aviation industry for years about modernizing the NOTAM system, but he believes the servers the FAA uses I didn’t know the age of
He could not say whether a cyberattack was possible.
“I’ve been flying for 53 years and I’ve never heard of a system going down like this,” Cox said. “So something extraordinary happened.”
According to the FAA’s advisory, the NOTAM system failed at 8:28 pm ET on Tuesday, preventing new or corrected notices from being distributed to pilots. The FAA used a telephone hotline to keep outbound flights at night, but increased daytime traffic overwhelmed the telephone backup system.
The FAA has ordered all flights departing early Wednesday morning to be suspended, affecting all passenger and marine flights.
Some medical flights were permitted, and the suspension did not affect military operations or maneuverability.
U.S. Air Mobility Command flights were unaffected.
Mr. Biden said he received a briefing from Mr. Buttigieg on Wednesday morning.
“I just spoke to Buttigieg. They don’t know why, but I was on the phone with him for like 10 minutes,” Biden said. “I told him to report it directly to me if they found it.
Buttigieg told CNN that the order to suspend all outbound flights was done out of caution, but said the massive disruption to U.S. air travel was unacceptable. .
“We need to design systems that don’t have these kinds of vulnerabilities,” Buttigieg said.
Julia McPherson learned of the potential delay while she was on a United Airlines flight from Sydney to Los Angeles on Wednesday.
“I was in the air when a friend, who was also traveling abroad, told me there was a power outage,” said McPherson, who returned to Florida from Hobart, Tasmania. After landing in Los Angeles, it still connects to a flight from Denver to Jacksonville, Florida.
She said there were no in-flight announcements about the FAA issue.
McPherson said he has already experienced travel delays as his original flight from Melbourne to San Francisco was canceled and he rebooked a flight from Sydney to Los Angeles.
Similar stories have emerged from Chicago, Washington, Atlanta, and other major US airports.
European flights to the US appeared to be largely unaffected. Airlines from Ireland’s Aer Lingus to Germany’s Lufthansa said their schedules were unaffected.
Flight cancellations and Southwest Airlines staffing tech malfunctions during vacations amid winter storms were recent headaches for U.S. travelers. Long lines, lost bags, cancellations and delays were encountered during the summer months as flights surged and faced staff cutbacks at US and European airports and airlines.
apply in houston today
To subscribe to the new daily editorial newsletter from HPM Newsroom, please complete the form below.