House Passes Bill to Study FAA Alert System Whose Outage Grounded Flights

Author: Yuvi January 26, 2023

House Passes Bill to Study FAA Alert System Whose Outage Grounded Flights


WASHINGTON — The House passed legislation on Wednesday that would create a task force to study a Federal Aviation Administration alert system that went down this month, causing departing flights to be grounded nationwide.

The bill drew overwhelming bipartisan support, passing by a vote of 424 to 4. It faces an unclear future in the Senate, where it failed to receive a vote after previously passing the House in 2019 and again in 2021. But the system outage this month is bringing more attention to what experts say is outdated technology at the FAA

Departures across the country were halted for about 90 minutes on Jan. 11 after the FAA’s Notice to Air Missions system went down, and thousands of flights were ultimately delayed that day. The so-called NOTAM system is used to provide information to pilots about hazards like runway closures and airspace restrictions.

Representative Pete Stauber, Republican of Minnesota and the bill’s sponsor, said it was unacceptable that the current system had been allowed to stay in place for so long, citing complaints from pilots about how the notices sent through it are hard to interpret. He expressed hope that after the recent outage, the bill would finally make it through the Senate.

“We must do this,” Mr. Stauber said. “This is a priority. We cannot have another critical failure like we did a couple weeks ago.”

The 118th Congress is underway, with Republicans controlling the House and Democrats holding the Senate.

The legislation would direct the FAA to create a task force to consider improvements to the system. Its members would be appointed by the agency’s administrator and would include representatives of airlines, airports and labor unions as well as experts in areas like aviation safety and cybersecurity.

The FAA declined to comment on the bill. A spokeswoman for Senator Maria Cantwell, Democrat of Washington and the chairwoman of the Senate Commerce Committee, did not respond to a request for comment.

The FAA has been in the process of modernizing the NOTAM system, which the agency’s most recent budget request described as relying on “failing vintage hardware.” Congress provided funding for the modernization efforts in the spending package that lawmakers approved last month to fund the government through September.

Matthew Lehner, a spokesman for the FAA, said the modernization project would hit a milestone in 2025 when the legacy portion of the system is phased out. Additional improvements are scheduled through 2030, and the agency is looking for ways to speed up the timeline for that work, Mr. Lehner said.

The FAA said last week that a preliminary investigation into the outage revealed that contract personnel had “unintentionally deleted files” while working on the system. The agency added that it had taken steps to make the system “more resilient” and that no evidence of a cyberattack or malicious intent had been found.

The outage came on the heels of another air travel mess. Around Christmas, Southwest Airlines was forced to cancel thousands of flights after a winter storm threw its operations into chaos for days.

Representative Mark DeSaulnier, Democrat of California and a co-sponsor of the bill, said that weeks before the system outage, he and a colleague, Representative Rick Larsen, Democrat of Washington, had sent a letter to the FAA asking for an update on the efforts to modernize the NOTAM system.

Mr. DeSaulnier said he had been pushing for the system to be improved since a harrowing incident at San Francisco International Airport in 2017 in which an Air Canada plane almost landed on a taxiway instead of a nearby runway. Four planes loaded with passengers had been waiting on the taxiway to be cleared for takeoff, and the Air Canada plane narrowly avoided a collision.

The flight crew’s “ineffective review of NOTAM information” concerning a runway closure at the airport was among the factors cited in the National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation of the incident.

“We came within 100 feet of having the worst aviation disaster in the history of the country,” Mr. DeSaulnier said, “so we’ve got to make sure all of these systems are as foolproof as possible on every level and people have a great sense of confidence in them.”

Author: Yuvi

My name is Yuvi, I work as Sub Editor at newscinema.in

26 January, 2023, 4:51 am

News Cinema on twitter News Cinema on facebook

Thursday, 26th January 2023

Latest Web Stories

More Stories
Anupam Kher receives Grand Tycoon Global Achievers Award for ‘The Kashmir Piles’
King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla host a Buckingham Palace reception
She Took On Atlanta’s Gangs. Now she may be coming for Trump.
Forget Pandemic Puppies. Meet the Inflation Chicken.
Education Firms That Serve Hasidic Schools Are Barred Amid Fraud Inquiry
Power to Punish LIV Golfers Faces a Legal Test in Europe
The Fed increased its interest rates. This is what it means for your personal finances
Viral Video: Thousands in Spain Gather at Church to get Their Pets Blessed; Know why
Kiara Advani and Sidharth Malhotra Hush-hush Royal Wedding in Jaisalmer? Check the date, venue and all the Buzz
Lambeth Council will repay 1,600 drivers it wrongly fined after admitting its road sign was unclear
Pathan Box Office Collection: SRK-Deepika Padukone and John Abraham starrer collects Rs 667 crore worldwide
Anand Pandit says the busy schedule of Big Bull is going on
Pakistan Blast: Peshawar Mosque Bomber who Killed Over 100 Wore Police Uniform; Cops Admit Security Lapse
Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt Starrer Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani Pushed To July 28
Prosecutors subpoena dentist’s office for records of Leilani Simon accused of murdering her son
More pain for Brits as Bank of England is set to hike interest rates TODAY
Winter Storm Hits Texas, West Virginia, Several Other US States; Over 1,800 Flights Canceled
20 Rare Indian Baby Girl and Baby Boy Names Inspired by Love – Check Names and Exact Meanings
Twitter announces plans to start charging developers to access its application programming interface
Anjali Arora’s latest poignant video breaks the internet after MMS scandal – WATCH
ISIS bride Shamima Begum claims she met ISIS executioner Jihadi John
How Lamborghini-driving grifter conned dozens of investors out of $35m with fake weed business
Bank Of England Is Expected To Raise Rates Again
Australia to Replace Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on its Banknote
Australia Is Removing The British Monarch From Its 5-Dollar Bill
Avatar: The Way of Water beat ‘The Avengers’ to become the 10th highest grosser of all time in the US.
Pamela Anderson is radiant at NYC party for her new Netflix doc Pamela, a Love Story
Rakhi Sawant cries uncontrollably saying ‘Marriage with Adil Khan is in danger’
Tunisha Sharma death case: Actor’s uncle demands inquiry into role of Sheesan’s relatives
US to Boost Military Role in the Philippines as Fears Over Taiwan Grow
Accountants say Trump might have as little as $30 million scattered across hundreds of bank accounts
Bernie Sanders labeled a hypocrite for charging $95 a ticket to attend event promoting his new book
Russian Diesel Is Europe’s New Embargo Target
Deepika Padukone wrote a happy birthday wish for sister Anisha
Tom Brady ‘filmed his retirement video days before his official announcement’…
Ex-Skid Row drug addict slams California’s politicians for not ‘incentivizing people to get sober’
LAX power outage stops TSA, causes potential flight delays
Ajay Devgan-Kajol’s daughter Nysa Devgan attends a party in a plunging neckline, her missing photo goes viral
NRL Nicho Hynes supports his mum at Gosford court as she faces charges for allegedly dealing heroin
US Drills Have Pushed Situation to ‘Extreme red-line’: North Korea Warns Biden; The White House Responds
Ananya Pandey helms Vikramaditya Motwane’s cyber thriller.