Flights Resume After Computer Glitch Causes Widespread Delays

Flights are starting to resume operations after an automation problem at an air traffic control center in Leesburg, Virginia caused hours-long delays Saturday for those going in and out of New York City, Baltimore and Washington.

The issue was resolved just after 4 p.m., according to the FAA. Reports of the delays began coming in around 11:30 a.m. The agency is working with airlines to return to normal operations and is trying to get to the root of what caused the automation issue.

The issue impacted planes already in the air. High altitude traffic was directed around the affected airspace, according to the FAA. Authorities said the issue has nothing to do with an accident or hacking.

Flights out of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport and BWI Marshall Airport are resuming to depart but delays are expected as the backlog clears. The outage limited flights in and out of the three airports earlier in the day. Delays were also reported at New York’s La Guardia and John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Passengers are encouraged to check flight status with their airlines as many flights going in and out of the affected areas were cancelled or delayed. 

American Airlines released a statement acknowledging the issue saying all of their East Coast flights were impacted. Southwest Airlines said its flights to and from D.C. area airports were affected.

Customers across the region reported being delayed due to the outage.

This is not the first time computer issues have led to flight delays.

In July, a network connectivity issue caused United flights across the world to be grounded causing widespread delays. The FAA described the problem as an automation issue. A similar problem affected some United flights in early June.

Patch has reached out to authorities for more information. Refresh this page for updates as they become available.

Image via Shutterstock

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