FAA Lifts Grounding Order Following U.S. Notam Outage

 - January 11, 2023, 9:35 AM
A failure of the Notam system in the U.S. forced a nationwide ground stop on the morning of January 11, 2023. (Photo: American Airlines)

The FAA lifted a nationwide ground stop this morning and normal operations resumed at about 9 a.m. EST after an outage of the agency’s Notam system forced the cancellation of more than 800 flights and delayed nearly 5,000 more. According to the OpsGroup, the system failed at 3:28 a.m. EST and had processed no new Notams until about 9 a.m.

Newark Liberty and Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson airports were the first allowed by the FAA to resume flights due to the level of traffic congestion at those major gateways. The outage stood to affect flight schedules throughout the day as airlines work to mitigate a cascade of disruptions.   

An investigation into the cause of the problem continues, but the White House reports no evidence of a cyberattack. The FAA has not provided detail on the potential cause, only publishing updates earlier today that it was working to restore the system and had ordered airlines to pause domestic departures until 9 a.m. to “allow the agency to validate the integrity of the flight and safety information.”

In a Twitter posting, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said he had consulted with the FAA over the cause and the best course of action to resolve the situation. “I have directed an after-action process to determine root causes and recommend next steps,” he said.