APPLETON (NBC 26) — Early Wednesday morning, the FAA reported that a system outage caused fights around the country to be grounded until 8 a.m.
The Notice to Air Mission System (NOTAM), responsible for sending messages to all pilots, information about closed runways, hazards, and other information that is vital for safe air travel, unexpectedly has a system shutdown.
“So, when that wasn't working, it was kind of a snowball effect. When that really went down, the FAA was forced to put everyone in a ground stop at about 6:30 a.m. CT this morning,” said Jesse Funk, Public Information Officer at Appleton International Airport.
At the Appleton Airport, one flight heading to Atlanta was able to take off before the grounding but was later diverted to Louisville.
“My guess is that Atlanta couldn’t accommodate them,” said Funk.
A representative for the Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport explained how widespread issues like this can affect more than your initial delayed flight.
“Now the repercussions behind this ground stop are that while we’re able to push these aircraft out here at Green Bay, there might be some delays at your connecting airport or at your destination airport,” said Susan Levitte, Marketing Communications Manager at Austin Straubel.
According to flight tracker FlightAware, as of 12 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan 11, over 8,000 U.S. flights were delayed, with residual delays lasting hours.
As for the Appleton Airport, there were six scheduled flights prior to 8 a.m., with four of the six flights being directly impacted.
The FAA updated travelers on Twitter throughout the morning on the status of air traffic operations.
“Safety is their biggest concern, as is ours here at the Appleton Airport, so we want to make sure everything is back and working the way it should before we get people on their way,” said Funk.
By around 10 a.m. this morning, all flights that were delayed at the Appleton International Airport had departed.
Levitte recommends people download the app for their airline to get the most updated information.