US flights slowly resume as FAA lifts ground stop following computer outage

More than 3,700 flights were delayed, and more than 640 were cancelled early in the day


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Photos: AP
Photos: AP

Published: Wed 11 Jan 2023, 6:18 PM

The Federal Aviation Administration is lifting a ground stop on flights across the US following a computer outage early Wednesday that resulted in thousands of delays quickly cascading through the system at airports nationwide.

Earlier in the morning the FAA ordered all US flights to delay departures until at least 9 am Eastern time. Due to heavy congestion, the FAA cleared flights to depart at Newark Liberty and Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson airport. The agency said that normal air traffic operations were resuming gradually across the U.S. following the outage.

More than 3,700 flights were delayed and more than 640 were cancelled early in the day.

The FAA said that it continues to look into the cause of the initial problem.

While the White House initially said that there is no evidence of a cyberattack, President Joe Biden said “we don’t know”, and told reporters he’s directed the Department of Transportation to investigate the cause of the disruption.

Biden addressed the FAA issue Wednesday before leaving the White House to accompany his wife to a medical procedure at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center outside of Washington. He said he had just been briefed by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who told him they still had not identified what went wrong.

“I just spoke to Buttigieg. They don’t know what the cause is. But I was on the phone with him about 10 minutes," Biden said. "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 cause of it is.”

The FBI did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment.


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