Thousands of Middle TN travelers delayed after all flights in the U.S. grounded

Normal air traffic operations have resumed
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Posted at 6:49 PM, Jan 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-11 19:49:13-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Federal Aviation Administration ordered a nationwide pause on domestic flight departures after a communication system failure Wednesday morning.

Thousands of flights were delayed or canceled by the FAA's nationwide pause.

The FAA's system for alerting pilots and airports of real-time hazards, called NOTAM (Notice to Air Missions), went dark, which sparked safety concerns and led to the FAA's decision.

According to FlightAware, as of 5:37 p.m., 9,585 flights in and out of the United States were delayed.

Good news though: normal air traffic operations have resumed, but travelers are still dealing with delays.

According to the FAA, the system that went out is used by pilots use to learn if a runway is closed, if large flocks of birds are in the way, or if lights on tall buildings and towers may be an issue.

White House officials initially said that there was no evidence of a cyberattack behind the outage that ruined travel plans for millions of passengers. The Department of Transportation isn’t ruling it out, but the FAA is blaming a technology failure.

For the first time since 9/11, a nationwide ground stoppage was issued, preventing flights from taking off. A nationwide ground stoppage prevents any potential takeoffs from leading to chaos for existing flights.

MTSU’s dance team was affected by the system failure, which pushed its flight back several hours.

The team is heading to college nationals to compete at Disney in Orlando.

"I've been coaching about 10 years, and every year I feel like I learn something new. So, this year I said we want to go in a day early and want to make that day for travel, because these things can happen. So, I think for us it’s nice to know we did plan ahead for instances like that if they did occur," MTSU's Head Dance Coach Katie Stricklin said.

The team will be competing all weekend.

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