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FAA blames contract workers for outage that grounded flights

FAA Outage
Posted at 12:33 PM, Jan 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-20 16:31:36-05

The Federal Aviation Administration believes it knows what caused a computer outage that forced flights to remain grounded last week.

The agency says a preliminary review determined that "contract personnel unintentionally deleted files while working to correct synchronization between the live primary database and a backup database."

The FAA adds that it has found no evidence of a cyberattack or malicious intent.

Most airports in the U.S. held planes at the gate for about two hours on the morning of Jan. 11 while the situation was resolved. Planes were still allowed to land.

The impacted system is known as the Notice to Air Missions System.

NOTAMs used to be available through a hotline but that was phased out with the internet. The alerts span from mundane information about construction at airports to urgent flight restrictions or broken equipment.

All aircraft must route through the system, including commercial and military flights.