Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) is demanding answers from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg after a massive system failure that grounded US flights early Wednesday morning.
“Safety is always the top priority, but it is not okay to leave millions of travelers stranded and delayed at their destination. I expect @FAANews and @SecretaryPete to immediately give Congress a FULL brief on what happened and how they will make sure it NEVER happens again,” the senator demanded:
Safety is always the top priority, but it’s not okay to leave millions of travelers stranded and delayed at their destination.
— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) January 11, 2023
Scott’s demand follows a failure in the Notice to Air Missions system that grounded US flights Wednesday morning. At 8:50 a.m. ET, the FAA announced that normal air traffic operations were “gradually resuming in the U.S. following a nighttime failure of the Notice to Air Missions system that provides safety information to flight crews.”
“The ground stop has been lifted,” the agency said, adding that it continues to investigate the cause of the outage:
Update 5: Normal air traffic operations are gradually resuming in the US after a nighttime outage in the Notice to Air Missions system that provides safety information to flight crews. The ground stop has been lifted.
We continue to look for the cause of the initial problem
— The FAA ✈️ (@FAANews) January 11, 2023
According to White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain, President Biden has “directed DOT/FAA to quickly and safely restore the system and determine root causes.”
Biden added on Wednesday morning that they don’t know what caused the outage:
President Biden told reporters this morning that he has been briefed on the failure of the FAA system.
“Planes can still land safely, just not take off now. They don’t know what caused it.” pic.twitter.com/M6k4b4ilZT
— Reshad Hudson (@ReshadHudson) January 11, 2023
Klain added that Buttigieg would give Biden an update later in the morning:
.@POTUS was briefed by @SecretaryPete early this morning. @POTUS DOT/FAA to quickly and safely repair the system and diagnose the causes. @SecretaryPete will provide @POTUS an update later this morning.
— Ronald Klain (@WHCOS) January 11, 2023
More than 7,500 US-related flights were delayed and 1,100 canceled as of 12:45 p.m. ET.
Buttigieg appeared on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports after the failure and said he does not rule out a domestic or foreign attack as the cause of the chaos.
“Again, what I would say is that there is no direct indication of any kind of outside or nefarious activity. But we are not ready to rule that out yet,” he added.
This story is evolving.