An American Airlines Airbus A319 takes off past the air traffic control tower at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia, on January 11, 2023
Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images
The Federal Aviation Administration said Thursday that a contractor inadvertently deleted files before the pilot warning system went down, which thousands of flights delayed last week.
“The FAA’s preliminary review of last week’s Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) system outage found that contract personnel inadvertently deleted files while working to properly synchronize the active primary database with the backup database,” the FAA said. Agency spokesmen did not provide further details.
These announcements provide pilots with safety information such as runway closures.
The FAA reiterated that it had found no evidence of a cyberattack or “malicious intent” and that it was still investigating what happened.
The agency said it briefed lawmakers on its investigation on Thursday. Lawmakers from both parties have demanded answers to technological vulnerabilities in the US aviation system.
Airline management he complained on FAA underfunding and staffing.
“I put it down to the fact that we’re not giving them the resources, the funding, the staffing, the tools, the technology that they need,” Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian said Friday on “Squawk Box.” “I hope this will be a call to our political leaders in Washington that we need to do better.”
United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said in the company’s earnings call Wednesday that the outage and resulting travel chaos “should be a wake-up call for all of us in aviation, something that many of us in aviation have been saying for a long time … The FAA needs more resources.” “