'Are we under attack?': Internet fears the worst after FAA system failure grounds thousands of flights

'Are we under attack?': Internet fears the worst after FAA system failure grounds thousands of flights
(Representational image - Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Thousands of flights have been grounded across the United States following a serious malfunction in the Federal Aviation Administration's computer system. FAA said in a statement from their official Twitter handle, “The FAA is working to restore its Notice to Air Missions System. We are performing final validation checks and reloading the system now. Operations across the National Airspace System are affected. We will provide frequent updates as we make progress.”

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In another tweet, FAA added, “The FAA is still working to fully restore the Notice to Air Missions system following an outage. While some functions are beginning to come back online, National Airspace System operations remain limited.” The chaos has made the Internet angry as one user tweeted, “I was supposed to board my plane in 3 minutes... I just want to see my family.”

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“I’m trying to board a flight in PHL and am told that all flights have been grounded since midnight,” another added. “I’m on board a flight to JFK from LHR and we have been told we can’t depart. So we are stuck for now," someone else remarked. The FAA describes NOTAM as a system that “indicates the real-time and abnormal status of the NAS (National Air Space) impacting every user”.

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It informs pilots as well as airport and ground personnel of problems such as closed runways and taxiways, obstructions close to airports, and military exercises affecting the airspace. Following the notice of the disruption, FlightRadar24 also displayed airplanes reversing their route and heading back toward the US mainland. Meanwhile, conspiracy theorists speculated on what caused the FAA system to go haywire.



 

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One user tweeted, “First time in history this has ever happened? Seems strange.” “Nationwide ground stop on ALL U.S. flights because of a system failure? I think not! An enemy nation has hacked the FAA,” another added. Someone noted, “Serious question here from a concerned citizen. What exactly does this system do? And why do all flights rely on this? Does it seem like a bottleneck? Seems like a vulnerability in our infrastructure.” 

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“Are we under attack again?” another user wondered. Someone suggested, “Please investigate to the fullest extent. These computers don’t just malfunction.” “There definitely was a glitch. Not something planned. Now to figure out if it’s a cyberattack or their failed outdated system tweaking out,” yet another user remarked. 

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This article contains remarks made on the Internet by individual people and organizations. MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support claims or opinions being made online.

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