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The the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has grounded all domestic flight departure until at least 9 a.m. Eastern leaving tens of thousands stranded.

The agency said it was working to restore its Notice to Air Missions (NOTAMs) which ‘failed’, meaning pilots were unable to access flight plans and other key information.

Just before 7 a.m. Eastern, there were over 1,200 delayed flights within, into or out of the United States, according to the flight tracking website FlightAware.

The FAA said in a tweet that it was working on restoring its Notice to Air Missions System. ‘The FAA is working to restore its Notice to Air Missions System,’ the agency said in the message. ‘We are performing final validation checks and repopulating the system now. Operations across the National Airspace System are affected.

‘We will provide frequent updates as we make progress.’

Pictured: A passenger posts a picture of their plane from an airport, saying that they all flights are grounded. 'Unfortunately that includes mine,' they wrote

Pictured: A passenger posts a photo from their grounded United Airlines plane

Pictured: Passengers post photos from an airport, saying that they all flights are grounded. ‘Unfortunately that includes mine,’ one wrote. Another said they were sitting on the runway at Newark Liberty International Airport

Air Traffic Control Signaling System Advisory also issued a statement today

Air Traffic Control Signaling System Advisory also issued a statement today

Pictured: Flights are seen grounded in New York City on Wednesday as all flights across the US were grounded due to an issue with FAA's computer system

Pictured: Flights are seen grounded in New York City on Wednesday as all flights across the US were grounded due to an issue with FAA’s computer system

Pictured: Flights are seen grounded at Los Angeles International (LAX) airport

Pictured: Flights are seen grounded at Los Angeles International (LAX) airport

In a second update, the FAA said: ‘The FAA is still working to fully restore the Notice to Air Missions system following an outage. While some functions are beginning to come back on line, National Airspace System operations remain limited.’

In an advisory, the FAA said its NOTAM (Notice to Air Missions) system had ‘failed’. There was no immediate estimate for when it would be back, the website showed, though NOTAMs issued before the outage were still viewable.

The NOTAM system alerts pilots and other flight personnel about hazards or any changes to airport facility services and relevant procedures.

There is a potential for widespread disruption because of the outage. All aircraft are required to route through the system, including commercial and military flights.

The impact will likely be broader than just commercial airlines. All users of the airspace system are required to check the system. Therefore, this will affect the military, civilian drone pilots and more. 

‘Technicians are currently working to restore the system,’ the website showed. The FAA was not immediately available for further comment.

NOTAM notices contain information essential to personnel concerned with flight operations, but not known far enough in advance to be publicized by other means.

Information can go up to 200 pages for long-haul international flights and may include items such as runway closures, general bird hazard warnings, or low-altitude construction obstacles.

The outage comes after federal officials said on Tuesday that they will require charter airlines, air-tour operators and plane manufacturers to develop detailed systems for identifying potential safety problems before accidents occur.

The Federal Aviation Administration said safety-management systems have made travel on large airlines safer since their adoption was required in 2018.

‘Expanding safety management systems to other players in the aviation industry will reduce accidents and incidents and save lives,’ acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen said in a statement.

The National Transportation Safety Board, which investigates crashes, has pushed for wider adoption of such systems. 

In 2020, Congress directed the FAA to require them for aircraft manufacturers after two fatal crashes involving Boeing 737 Max planes. The FAA said its proposal Tuesday went further by including smaller passenger-carrying operators.

In justifying expanding the requirement to smaller air operators, the FAA cited incidents including a 2015 crash of a float plane near Ketchikan, Alaska, that killed the pilot and all eight passengers. 

The NTSB blamed pilot error and the company’s lack of a formal safety program.

The FAA said Tuesday that if its proposed rule had been in effect, the company would have taken steps that might have prevented the accident, including having a manager responsible for assessing safety risk.

The FAA has an explainer on safety-management systems, which have been a growing trend in aviation in recent years.

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