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FAA flight operations resuming after system outage grounds flights across US, including at O’Hare, Midway airports

CHICAGO (WLS) — An FAA computer outage led to a temporary ground stop for all flight departures nationwide Wednesday morning, including at O’Hare and Midway airports.

The FAA said it is working to restore its Notice to Air Missions system, which affects flights across the country and ordered a ground stop for all flight departures. Shortly before 8 am, the FAA said normal operations were resuming.

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At about 7:15 am, the FAA said it was making progress restoring its systems and departures were resuming in Newark and Atlanta.

Commercial pilot and aviation journalist Robert Mark explained the importance of the Notice to Air Missions system.

“It’s a system that the FAA uses to inform pilots of safety issues…we depend on that system before we take off so that there are no surprises at the other end. Right now, that system is down .”

Chopper 7HD flew above both O’Hare and Midway, showing many aircraft sitting on the tarmac.

As of 7:15 am, O’Hare reported delays averaging 67 minutes with 31 flight cancellations. At Midway, delays were averaging 131 minutes with 19 flight cancellations.

Debra and Mark Rawaski were at O’Hare trying to fly out to Puerto Rico Wednesday morning.

“Initially, it said it was on-time…and then as we’re arriving in the taxi, delayed, delayed, delayed,” Debra said.

“We’re hoping to get out,” Mark said. “If we get out fantastic. If we don’t, then we wait. We got tomorrow or the day after. I am not worried about anything.”

The Chicago Department of Aviation said in a statement, “The ground stop at O’Hare and Midway International Airports has been lifted following the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) system outage this morning. Residual delays or cancellations will likely continue throughout the day as a result of this morning’s outage. The CDA continues to encourage travelers to check their flight status before leaving for either airport, and to download their airline’s mobile app for available rebooking options.”

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “The President has been briefed by the Secretary of Transportation this morning on the FAA system outage. There is no evidence of a cyberattack at this point, but the President directed DOT to conduct a full investigation into the causes.The FAA will provide regular updates.

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US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement, “I have been in touch with FAA this morning about an outage affecting a key system for providing safety information to pilots. FAA is working to resolve this issue swiftly and safely so that air traffic can resume normal operations, and will continue to provide updates.

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