Air traffic came to a standstill in the US on Wednesday due to a glitch in the NOTAM (Notice to Air Missions) system. According to media reports, 4663 flights were delayed. 450 domestic and international flights were canceled. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), flight operations gradually resumed after about 4 hours of disruption. According to aviation experts, it will take at least 2 days for the situation to become normal.
How serious the matter was, it can be gauged from the fact that an emergency meeting was held in the White House on this matter. President Joe Biden called for a report from the Transport Secretary.
Later in a conversation with the media, Biden said – At the moment it is difficult to even say what is the reason for this big problem. I myself have monitored this matter.
Such negligence has never happened before
According to the ‘New York Times’, the FAA has not had a permanent chief since March. Last week, Biden nominated Philip Washington. Now the problem is that his name has to be approved by the Senate and the appointment is pending pending the Senate session. However, it is certain that after Wednesday’s episode, Biden will have to face a lot of opposition and criticism from the opposition ie the Republican Party.
White House said – not cyber attack
NBC News quoted White House Press Secretary Karin Jean Pierre as saying – Transportation Secretary met President Joe Biden. He informed the President about this problem. Based on the investigation so far, we can say that it is not a cyber attack, but the President has ordered a serious investigation.
Heavy air traffic day
According to the news agency AP, a total of 21 thousand flights are going to take off from America on Wednesday. Most are domestic flights. Apart from these, 1,840 international flights are about to land in the US. It will be clear later that how many flights were canceled or delayed.
Domestic flight operations will be normal in 2 days
NBC’s Aviation Analyst Captain John Cox said – This case has exposed many bitter truths. We still need to make many improvements. According to me, domestic flight operations will be normal only by Thursday night or Friday. Suppose if an aircraft is stuck in New York and it has to reach Los Angeles after 4 hours, it will be delayed by several hours. Obviously this would mess up the entire flight schedule. Now we have to analyze the whole system.
What the aviation agency said
Earlier, the Federal Aviation Administration issued an advisory. Said- NOTAM (Notice to Air Missions) system has ‘failed’. We cannot say when it will be fine. According to NBC News, this technical fault came to light at 5.31 am according to American time. It was said on the website of the agency – the technical staff is repairing the system. Later the whole system will be analyzed.
Code language in NOTAM
According to skybrary.aero, the language of NOTAM is actually difficult. This is code language. This information is usually shared with pilots and crew members during the final briefing before takeoff.
Suppose, some flying activities are going on in some area, then its information is already given through NOTAM. For example air shows, parachute jumping, or gliding events. Their information is already known to the pilots and crew.
Apart from this, if any runway or taxiway is closed. If there is a problem in the radio navigation system, a military exercise is going on or there is any other problem near the airfield, then all the information is available through NOTAM.