A spokesperson for John Glenn Columbus International Airport told 10TV that the airport is experiencing some delays and continues to encourage passengers to check in.
COLUMBUS, OH — Domestic flights nationwide, including to John Glenn Columbus International Airportrecover from a delay due to a computer system failure.
The Federal Aviation Administration is canceling ground stops for flights across the U.S. after a computer failure early Wednesday caused thousands of delays and hundreds of cancellations to quickly cascade through the system at airports across the country.
The FAA ordered all departing flights to be grounded early Wednesday morning, but lifted the order just before 9 a.m. ET several hours later.
However, delays and cancellations continue to rise.
More than 3,700 flights were delayed and more than 640 were canceled.
The FAA’s grounding order affects nearly all cargo shipper and commercial airline flights.
More than 21,000 flights, mostly domestic, were scheduled to operate in the U.S. today, and about 1,840 international flights are expected to fly into the U.S., according to aviation data company Cirium.
Some medical flights were able to be cleared and no military operations or mobility were affected by the outage.
U.S. Air Mobility Command flights were not affected, said Air Force Col. Damien Pickart, a spokesman for Air Mobility Command, which is responsible for all troop movements and support flights, such as the C-17s that carry the president’s motorcade. when he travels, but so do all flights that transport troops from one base to another. Air Mobility Command has been working with the FAA on this issue.
While the White House initially said there was no evidence of a cyberattack, President Joe Biden said “we don’t know” and told reporters he had instructed the Transportation Department to investigate the cause of the outage.
Biden addressed the FAA issue on Wednesday before leaving the White House to accompany his wife to a medical procedure at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center outside Washington. He said he was just briefed by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who told him they still haven’t determined what went wrong.
“I just talked to Butygius. They don’t know what the reason is. But I spoke with him on the phone for about 10 minutes, – said Biden. – I told him to report directly to me when they find out. Air traffic can still land safely, just not take off right now. We don’t know what the reason is.”
Buttigieg tweeted that he was in contact with the FAA and was monitoring the situation.
The FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The delays were concentrated along the East Coast, but they are quickly spreading to the West Coast.
The FAA said it is working to restore the notification system for air flights.
“We are performing final validation checks and rebooting the system,” the FAA said. “Operations in the National Airspace System are affected.”
The agency said some functions are beginning to come back online, but that “National Airspace System operations remain limited.”
Julia McPherson was on a United Airlines flight from Sydney to Los Angeles on Wednesday when she learned of possible delays.
“While I was in the air, I got word from a friend of mine who was also traveling overseas that there was a power outage,” said McPherson, who was returning to Florida from Hobart, Tasmania. After she lands in Los Angeles, she still has a layover in Denver on her flight to Jacksonville, Florida.
She said there were no reports of an FAA problem on the flight.
McPherson said she had already experienced travel delays because her original flight from Melbourne to San Francisco had been canceled and she had rebooked a flight from Sydney to Los Angeles.
The FAA is working to restore what’s known as the Air Flight Notification System.
Before starting a flight, pilots should consult NOTAMs or air mission messages, which list possible adverse effects on flights, from runway construction to the possibility of icing. Previously, the system was telephone-based, with pilots calling special flight service stations for information, but it has now moved to the Internet.
Breakdowns in the NOTAM system are rare.
“I don’t ever remember the NOTAM system giving up like that. I’ve been flying for 53 years,” said John Cox, a former airline pilot and now an aviation safety consultant.
According to FAA guidance, the NOTAM system went down at 8:28 p.m. ET on Tuesday, preventing new or revised messages from being sent to pilots. The FAA turned to a hotline to keep flights going overnight, but when traffic increased during the day, it overwhelmed the backup phone system.
Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said U.S. military flights were not affected because the military has its own NOTAMS system, separate from the FAA’s, and the military department’s system was not affected by the outage.
European flights to the US were virtually unaffected.
Irish carrier Aer Lingus said services to the US were continuing and Dublin Airport’s website showed its flights to Newark, Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles were operating as scheduled.
“Aer Lingus plans to operate all transatlantic flights as scheduled today,” the airline said in a prepared statement. “We will continue to monitor, but do not expect any disruption to our services due to the technical issue in the United States.”
It’s just the latest headache for U.S. travelers facing holiday flight cancellations amid winter storms and staffing disruptions at Southwest Airlines. They also faced long lines, lost luggage, cancellations and delays over the summer as demand for travel rebounded due to the COVID-19 pandemic and faced layoffs at airports and airlines in the US and Europe.
The FAA said it will provide frequent updates as progress is made.