FAA system failure causes travel problems at Albany airport


ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A nationwide system failure for the Federal Aviation Administration causing headaches for travelers early Wednesday morning. Some travelers facing this challenge after delaying their trip over the holidays because of severe weather.

“That’s actually why we are traveling now,” Justin Foster, traveling to Michigan, said. “All of the roads were closed, so this is our belated Christmas which is obviously going to be a little bit more belated.”

The delays were caused by a problem with the FAA’s Notice to Air Missions System which provides pilots with essential information about weather conditions, safety and possible alternate routes before each flight.

Public Information Officer for Albany International Airport Doug Myers said the FAA communicates directly with airports when mass disruptions to travel happen. Myers said the nationwide grounding of all domestic departures was a safety measure.

“The flight system is very complex,” Myers said. “A lot of computers out there working to ensure that flights fly safely each day and the safety record is outstanding with U.S. air carriers. This system was being updated and there was apparently a glitch, but we don’t know what it was, and they have taken care of that now and we are back in operation.”

The travel woes beginning to end for some around 9 a.m., but for some travelers looking to take flight — the process will be a slow one. Myers said the process to get back on full schedules and have flights fully operational will be gradual throughout the day. 

“We started seeing the cancellations roll in and from there everything got canceled and now we are bouncing back and forth between Delta and American Airlines,” Lucas Casey, traveling to Florida, said.

“I called Southwest on the phone, I’m on hold,” Thomas Smith, traveling to Texas, said. “I figured I would come downstairs and try down here otherwise I’m going back to the hotel and I’ll try again tomorrow.” 

The system failure is currently under investigation.

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