Photo: ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said its preliminary analysis of a computer system outage on Wednesday that caused a 90-minute national grounding stoppage and disrupted more than 11,000 flights was due to a procedural flaw. .
Nevertheless, during the investigation it was discovered that the software that failed and forced the FAA to ground thousands of flights on Wednesday is 30 years old and it is not scheduled to be updated for another six years, according to a senior government official.
According to NBC News, andThis system was installed in 1993 and runs the Notice to Air Missions, or NOTAM, system. which sends pilots vital information they need to fly, the official said.
After the FAA was able to get the planes flying again, a government official said a corrupted file that affected both the main and backup NOTAM systems appeared to be to blame.
Researchers are working to determine whether human error or malice is to blame for disabling the system., to which eight contract employees had access. At least one, perhaps two, of those contractors made the edit that corrupted the system, two government sources said Thursday.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told NBC News that he has asked the FAA “to make sure that there are enough safeguards built into the system so that this level of disruption cannot occur due to the decision, action or error of a person”.
Tens of thousands of travelers were stranded Wednesday after the FAA tweeted ordering airlines to suspend all domestic departures for at least two hours. “to allow the agency to validate the integrity of the safety and flight information” as it worked to restore the NOTAM system.
Later, the FAA lifted the ground stop and normal air traffic operations began to gradually resume. But by then, airports across the country were already packed with frustrated travelers and a backlog of flights.
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