After an $8 billion renovation, New York’s new LaGuardia airport complex is finally an airport the city can be proud of. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the industries it serves.
Thousands of flights were canceled across the US on Wednesday for the second time in almost two weeks. This time, it seems there was a problem with an outdated computer system. Enough passengers.
“The last few years have been tough,” said Deb Alexis, who traveled from Orlando to New York. “The flight was great, but I’m stressed because my package hasn’t arrived. There seems to be a lot of confusion and delays lately.”
Asked if air travel was becoming too much of a hassle en route to Georgia when Southwest Airlines flights were cancelled, Danny Dividu simply replied: I have to go back upstairs to check in again. I usually go greyhound. the best way. I hate flying It’s annoying, it’s always been like that. ”
Another day, another crisis at US airports.
It may have been the weather-related cascading disruptions the US experienced on vacation, or computer problems, scheduling, pilot or crew shortages, but the results were familiar.
Whatever the exact cause of Wednesday’s problems, they are part of a broader set of problems for travelers, airlines and the FAA, said a former airline executive who now runs consulting firm RW Mann & Company. says Robert Mann.
“The FAA often runs on decades-old hardware and software,” he said. “And building and installing them is a multi-year effort.”
Even a minor regional outage can affect the entire network, he said, which is “like a system failure.”
The FAA estimates that delayed and canceled flights cost the US economy $33 billion in 2019. Said.
Congress is set to debate FAA funding this year, and hearings are expected to be heated. The FAA is currently without a leader, for the first time since March of last year.
Biden named Philip Washington, currently the chief executive officer of Denver International Airport, to the position. However, his nomination has been clouded by criticism of his inexperience in the airline industry and his ties to a corruption scandal.
With Republicans now in charge of the House, Biden’s nomination looks more uncertain, and recent turmoil has sparked more criticism of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg following disruptions at US airports while on vacation. will be exposed to
After the flight restrictions were lifted, Buttigieg said his department had not ruled out the possibility that malicious activity was the cause of the computer system outage.
‘Not ready to eliminate it’ Buttigieg said in an interview on MSNBC. “While we have no direct indication of external or malicious activity of any kind, we are not yet ready to eliminate it,” Buttigieg said.
After the incident, Senator Ted Cruz, the top Republican on the Senate’s Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, called on the FAA to reform Congress.
“People who fly deserve to be safe in the skies,” the Texas senator said in a statement. We need to enact reforms.”
Commenting on Wednesday’s incident, Cruz added, “it underscores why the public needs a competent, proven leader with substantial aviation experience to lead the FAA.”
By mid-morning, the FAA had issued a fifth bulletin. “Normal air traffic operations are gradually resuming across the United States after overnight suspensions,” the agency said in a statement.
By then it was too late for many passengers. Jordan Cousins, 25, said on his way southwest from LaGuardia, New York, to Nashville, his Southwest flight was delayed twice and then canceled entirely.
“This, then that. You never know. It could be smooth, it could be a problem. It could be on the counter or on the plane or something,” he said. rice field. “Plans never go according to plan.”