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U.S. FAA says “unintentionally deleted files“ prompted computer outage


Passengers wait for the resumption of flights at O’Hare International Airport after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had ordered airlines to pause all domestic departures due to a system outage, in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., January 11, 2023. REUTERS/Jim Vondruska

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said on Thursday a preliminary review found that contract personnel unintentionally deleted files prompting a nationwide groundstop on Jan. 11 that disrupted more than 11,000 flights.

The FAA said the issue occurred while personnel were working “to correct synchronization between the live primary database and a backup database” and the FAA added that it “has so far found no evidence of a cyber-attack or malicious intent.”

The FAA said it has made necessary repairs to the system “and has taken steps to make the pilot message system “more resilient.”