The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has confirmed that a computer outage in its Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) system appears to have been caused by a corrupted file.
The file affected both primary and backup systems, and caused over 7,300 domestic and international flights to be delayed by noon yesterday, as well as over 1,100 flight cancellations.
In a statement, the agency said: “The FAA is continuing a thorough review to determine the root cause of the Notice to Air Missions system outage: “Our preliminary work has traced the outage to a damaged database file. At this time, there is no evidence of a cyber attack.”
The agency has stated that it will attempt to further investigate the problem and identify potential steps to prevent it from happening again.
The US government’s Commerce Committee, which oversees the FAA, has confirmed that it will also look into the matter.
The committee’s Head, Senator Maria Cantwell, stated that: “The number one priority is safety. As [we] prepare for FAA reauthorisation legislation, we will be looking into what caused this outage, and how redundancy plays a role in preventing future outages. The public needs a resilient air transportation system.”
The disruption comes less than a month after winter storms also caused significant flight disruption.