As RedState reported, hundreds of flights were delayed or canceled early on Wednesday morning because of an FAA system outage, leaving passengers once again stranded and unable to get to their destinations.
The FAA put out this statement explaining the issue.
FAA OUTAGE ✈️ 🚨
An @FAANews advisory says a system failure is impacting flights nationwide. Reports coming in that flights are grounded everywhere.
— Alexa Lorenzo (@ALorenzoTV) January 11, 2023
What is a NOTAM? It stands for “notice to air missions,” which is a recent change from “notice to airmen.” Why was it changed? According to the FAA, they changed it to be more “inclusive of all aviators and missions.” In other words, it was the Biden administration being woke because apparently nothing is safe these days from the silliness of the modern left.
Regardless, that’s not the story here so I’ll put my pilot hat on here to offer an explanation. NOTAMs are released for many different things. Most commonly, they are used to deliver information about departure and arrival airports. Is a runway closed? Is the ILS out? You get the idea. Then you have other types of NOTAMs that can be related to airspace, navigational aid outages, GPS outages, and so on and so forth.
Certain NOTAMs are regulatory and are required before making a flight. That’s especially true for Part 121 (i.e. scheduled carriers) flights that always have a watchful eye on them. Could I go jump into a Cessna right now and fly to a place without a NOTAM without anyone batting an eye? Sure. But if you’ve got a widespread outage of the NOTAM system, that’s going to heavily affect the release of IFR flights (of which all airliners are).
With all that said, this entire thing is everything wrong with the federal government. Right now, we are apparently being forced into a national debate over whether the Biden administration can outlaw gas stoves. The encroaching hand of government never ceases. Yet, the people who want to tell you what you can cook with can’t even keep a simple computer system that uses plain text running.
Of course, there’s also a common denominator with all these transportation issues in the United States. That would be Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who infamously took somewhere around half a year off for “paternity leave.” His tenure has been marked by crisis after crisis. Those most notably include supply chain breakdowns (which heavily influenced rising inflation) and major air travel disruptions.
And you know what? None of it will matter. Buttigieg is still going to run for president and get lots of fawning press when the time comes. No one of a Democrat persuasion is ever held accountable in Washington, DC. Failing up is the name of the game, and Buttigieg has his path charted.