Flight Plan System Failure Causes Widespread Delays

 - November 19, 2009, 10:48 AM

Early this morning the FAA’s computerized system for loading flight plans failed, causing widespread traffic delays of up to 90 minutes and some airline flight cancellations. Between approximately 5:15 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. EST the Nadin (national airspace data interchange network) system failed at both its Atlanta and Salt Lake City locations due to a router problem. The failure temporarily meant that FAA automated systems at major regional facilities could not process flight information, causing delays as ATC personnel were forced to input information manually. The Nadin failure stalled the process for entering Notams and weather information into the system. New York-area controllers compensated by increasing aircraft separation to 20 miles. FltPlan.com told AIN that approximately 1,000 of the GA flights it handled this morning were affected. An FAA spokesman told AIN that the system had been restored by 9 a.m. EST, but that it would “take a while to reboot the residual systems.” According to the FAA, “The failure was attributed to a software configuration problem within the FAA telecommunications infrastructure in Salt Lake City. As a result FAA services used primarily for traffic flow and flight planning were unavailable electronically.”

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