METRO AIRPORT (WXYZ) — Thousands of flights across the US were delayed or canceled today when the FAA had a system-wide failure for several hours.
The White House initially said there was no evidence of a cyber-attack that caused such a widespread outage, but the Department of Transportation is investigating why both the Notice to Air Admissions Missions System (NOTAM) would go down and the backup system.
We spoke to passengers who got caught up in the debacle and an aviation expert to find out their thoughts.
For passengers at Detroit Metro Airport, today's FAA system-wide failure was a jolt to their system.
“Makes you question what happened,” said a passenger heading to Disney World.
“I’m going to Seattle then Portland but since morning my flight has been delayed like several times,” said college student Tani Barket.
This woman who was here in Michigan for the holidays and trying to head back to college had no idea there was a system failure.
I talked to my daughter Brooke on Facetime. Her flight from New York to Metro was delayed.
Tom Grossman has been with Western Michigan University's School of Aviation for more than 20 years. He says pilots know how to navigate during an emergency like the NOTAM failure.
“We train pilots in critical thinking skills and how to handle situations,” said Tom Grossman.
Despite the inconvenience for passengers, Grossman says we need to give the FAA credit. They got the system running quickly.
For this woman and her husband who make Disney an annual trip they're just happy sunshine awaits.
“I’m going no matter what,” she said.
Bottom line when I saw that breaking news flash across the screen this morning, I started scrambling having flashbacks to all those cancelations during the holidays but after a few hours they had things here at Detroit Metro and across the country nearly back to normal.
However, the investigation into why the system failed will likely go into overdrive.