FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

FAA System Outage: How Does This Happen?

by Aoife O'Riordan

Jan 11, 2023

© Opolja | Dreamstime

Trends / Top Trends

U.S. airlines and airports experienced one of the worst shutdowns in years due to an FAA outage reported earlier this morning. The system, called NOTAMS, experienced technical problems, causing many U.S. flights to be canceled or delayed. The system is essential for pilots to receive information, such as alerts about closed runways, equipment outages and other hazards along a flight route. While air traffic controllers ensure flights at their respective airports land and take-off on time without overlap, NOTAMS is national.


As of press time, flight tracking site FlightAware revealed more than 8,116 flight delays nationwide and 1,213 U.S. flight cancellations, with the number steadily increasing over the hours. Airlines including United Airlines and American Airlines quickly released statements explaining why their flights would be halted until the FAA outage was fixed.


While still unknown if the cause of the outage points to a cyberattack of some kind, the outage affected thousands of passengers and employees. President Biden and Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg are currently in communication with the FAA to determine the cause.


The recent and massive outage leads many to wonder how something like this can happen. With great advancements in technology, how can current technology fail so many?


According to Congressman Rick Larsen (D-Wa.), the “current state of technology infrastructure at the FAA” must be examined. In other words, outdated systems might be to blame for the national outage. Larsen also noted an investigation into the causes of the outage may lead to solutions as to how to improve the system. Increased funding to ensure another outage doesn’t happen again is another possibility.


Whether the outage was unavoidable or the result of old software, the reliance of it by thousands is enough to worry many as they travel across the country. And these worries are nothing new. Just last month, Southwest Airlines suffered a major meltdown in flight operations due to outdated software, resulting in thousands of delayed or canceled flights.


For Southwest Airlines, outdated technology was to blame, but the effects on passengers and employees remained. The FAA outage this morning from technical issues now seems all too familiar. If outdated technology is the culprit, shouldn’t updating these systems take top priority?


The FAA announced at 8:50 a.m. that normal air traffic operations are gradually resuming across the country. Ground stop has been lifted and the FAA continues to look into the cause of the outage. Stay updated on the FAA’s NOTAMS statements.


Were you affected by this outage? What are your thoughts on the Southwest Airlines meltdown and now the FAA outage? What do you think could be improved? Tell us your thoughts. Email us at letters@globaltravelerusa.com. Please include your full name and location.


Insta Feed
Apr 23, 2024

7 Must-See Sites in Curaçao

It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here are seven must-see sites in Curaçao.

Experience Ireland’s
Wild Atlantic Way

From the windy tip of Malin Head in County Donegal to the colorful harbor town of Kinsale in County Cork, Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way amazes at every turn. Feel the blast of fresh sea air with a lighthouse walk. Get up close to history, grab a fireside seat at a traditional music session, experience the world-famous Irish hospitality and explore some of Ireland's most exhilarating coastal scenery. It is a place that inspired dreamers and travelers, poets and painters with a landscape filled with stone walls, thatched cottages, deserted beaches and breathtaking views. Charming towns and villages, 1,500 miles of soaring cliffs, incredible landscapes and unique experiences await.

Apr 23, 2024

Going the Distance: Which Airports Have the Longest Walks?

You’re in between flights and ready to find a coffee and your next gate and settle in. But then you find the signs to your gate and look down the impossibly long corridor and wonder how you managed to have the gate at the opposite end of the airport.

Products / Travel
Apr 22, 2024

Keep Your Road Trip Smelling Good with Purggo

The last thing you want during a road trip? A stinky car. Luckily, Purggo is here to help —without filling your car with a bunch of nasty chemicals that really only just make you cough and cover up the stench for a short time.

Fill Your Heart with Ireland

Whether it's the people, the craic (fun) or the coasts, travelers always find something to love about the island of Ireland. What fills your heart?

Apr 22, 2024

Fairfield by Marriott Brand Debuts in Copenhagen

Fairfield by Marriott Copenhagen Nordhavn recently debuted in Denmark. The opening marks the European debut of Marriott’s Fairfield by Marriott brand. The design prototype from OCCA Design Studio will be used as the blueprint for future Fairfield by Marriott properties throughout Europe.