United States: a computer failure causes chaos in the airports

The flight status display board in Terminal C at Orlando International Airport, in the United States, this Wednesday, January 11, 2023. AP - Joe Burbank

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Suspension of all domestic flights in the United States, for a few hours this Wednesday, January 11.

The breakdown of a computer security system caused multiple flight delays and cancellations.


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With our correspondent in Washington,

Guillaume Naudin

It only lasted a few hours, from mid-night to early Wednesday morning, but was enough to delay more than 5,000 flights and cancel nearly a thousand more.

It is a safety system, responsible for warning the crews of potential dangers on their route, and in particular on the take-off and landing runways, which broke down.

In a country where nearly three million people travel on 45,000 flights every day, no risks were taken and domestic traffic was therefore entirely suspended.

The cause of the failure is still unknown.

For the White House, which has been informed of the situation, nothing indicates for the moment that it is a cyberattack.

Joe Biden asks to be informed directly of the cause of the outage.

Its Secretary of Transport, Pete Buttegieg, as well as several parliamentarians, Democrats and Republicans, want explanations from the FAA, the air transport authority in the United States.

Because difficulties in the sector are frequent, whether for technical reasons or weather.

The week of the end of the year holidays, the Southwest company had made live a real hell to its passengers, already because of a computer problem.

It had taken several days to return to normal.

It could still be the case this time around.

►Read again: United States: a deadly winter storm paralyzes part of the country


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  • United States

  • Aeronautics

  • Transportation

  • Computer science