Last updated: 1.57pm
A computer outage at the US Federal Aviation Administration has grounded flights across the country.
The grounding affects all flights due to depart until 9am easterrn time (2pm GMT), though those flights in the air are clear to land.
The FAA’s Air Traffic Control System Command Centre (ATCSCC) website confirmed: “The FAA is still working to fully restore the Notice to Air Missions system following an outage.
“The FAA has ordered airlines to pause all domestic departures until 9 a.m. Eastern Time to allow the agency to validate the integrity of flight and safety information.”
The advisory noted the outage is at the NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) system. This is used to report potential hazards and important information to flight crews about airports and the state of flying.
“While some functions are beginning to come back on line, national airspace system operations remain limited,” the FAA added.
British Airways said in a statement: “Our flights to and from the US are continuing to operate as planned. We advise customers to check ba.com for the latest flight information.”
The FAA also retweeted a message from Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, who said: “The President has been briefed by the Secretary of Transportation this morning on the FAA system outage. There is no evidence of a cyberattack at this point, but the President directed DOT to conduct a full investigation into the causes. The FAA will provide regular updates.”
Passengers have posted on social media that they are experiencing flight delays and outages across the country.
Aviation data firm Cirium calculates that almost 21,500 flights are scheduled to depart airports in the US today.
Nearly 2.9 million seats are available on these departures, showing the extent of the disruption.
American Airlines has the most departures from US airports (4,819), followed by Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines.
Southwest said: “We are closely monitoring a data issue with FAA systems which may impact the start of operations today. Please check your flight status in the Southwest app or website to watch for any flight status changes.
“If your flight status changes substantially we will message the day of travel contact listed on your reservation by their preferred contact method.”
Austin-Bergstrom International airport (AUS) in Texas tweeted: “An FAA system outage is causing ground stops at AUS and other airports across the country.
“Arriving and departing passengers can expect delays this morning and throughout the day.”