Over 120 U.S. lawmakers informed the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Wednesday that the computer outage that interrupted 11,000 flights was “completely unacceptable” and requested the agency clarifies how it intends to avoid future incidents.
“While it appears at this time that the Notice to Air-Missions- or NOTAM-system malfunction was not a result of a cybersecurity breach, it highlights huge vulnerability in our air transportation system,” House Transportation Committee Chair, Sam Graves, and others said in a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
“Just as SouthWest’s widespread disruption, just a few weeks ago was inexcusable, so too is the DOT’s and FAA’s failure to properly maintain and operate air traffic control system.”
The letter also stated that it intends to “conduct vigorous oversight of the Department of Transportation’s plan to prevent these disruptions from occurring in the future.” Furthermore, the FAA’s problems highlight the agency’s current understaffing.
The condemnation comes just three weeks after the airport experienced its second major incident, the first during the holidays when Southwest Airlines cancellations hampered travel. Southwest canceled 16,700 flights between December 21, 2022, and December 31, 2022, costing the company between $725 and $825 million.
The sources for this piece include an article in Reuters.