NOTAM System Failure Disrupts US Airspace

NOTAM System Failure Disrupts US Airspace

DALLAS – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), responsible for the regulation and pursuit of safe air operations in the United States, has ordered airlines to pause all US domestic departures from 07:00 to 09:00 (EST) due to a failure in the crucial Notice to Air Missions system following an outage.

According to FOX 5 W.D.C., this failure has disrupted normal flight operations causing more than 1.000 flight delays and almost 100 cancellations. Big US airport hubs on the east coast, such as Chicago (ORD), Philadelphia (PHL), or Washington (IAD), have experienced disruption indexes of 3.0, 3.7, and 4.0, respectively, with average delays of up to 50 minutes in the worst cases.

In a statement, the FAA declared that “some functions are beginning to come back online” but added it would take time to resolve. An earlier advisory stated, “Technicians are currently working to restore the system and there is no estimate for restoration of the service at this time.”

However, there has not been any significant impact on the US West Coast airports, as most flights are scheduled to start taking off in the coming hours due to the time difference. Also, arriving traffic has not been affected either, as the NOTAM system is primarily used for pilots ahead of departure to check necessary information regarding their flight and destination.

Updates regarding the restoring of normal airline transport activity in the US can be closely followed on the official Twitter of the FAA.


The Notice to Air Missions or Notice to Airmen system (NOTAM) is a type of information retrieved by pilots and air traffic controllers that contains crucial information such as potential hazards, and runway or airspace closures, among many others.

Because of that, it is unsafe for aircraft to take off from their origin airport without retrieving NOTAM information, as crew and passengers could be exposing themselves to potential risks and danger without knowing it.

NOTAM is filed and published with an aviation authority along with all the specific airports across the country. This is why the Federal Aviation Administration has taken immediate action regarding its issue and is trying to solve it as quickly as possible to resume the normal operation of airline traffic inside the United States.

Featured image: Michael Rodeback/Airways.

Commercial aviation enthusiast from Madrid, Spain. Studying for a degree in Air Traffic Management and Operations at the Technical University of Madrid. Aviation photographer since 2018.

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