August 28, 2008

FAA: Problem in Georgia Delays Flights

By The Associated Press

Glitch affects Chicago CHICAGO (AP) -- The Federal Aviation Administration says a communication failure at a Georgia facility has caused flight delays in Chicago. Chicago's Department of Aviation said some inbound and outbound flights at O'Hare International Airport were delayed an average of 45 minutes as a result of the problem. Flights at Midway Airport are delayed for up to 90 minutes for the same reason. News You can use

ATLANTA (AP) - An electronic communication failure Tuesday at a Federal Aviation Administration facility in Georgia that processes flight plans for the eastern half of the U.S. was causing hundreds of flight delays around the country.

An FAA Web site that tracks airport status showed delays at some three dozen major airports across the country. The site advised passengers to "check your departure airport to see if your flight may be affected."

FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen in Atlanta said there were no safety issues and officials still were able to speak to pilots on planes on the ground and in the air.

She said she did not know exactly how many flights were being affected, but she said it was in the hundreds. She added that officials might not have total figures until today. Bergen said that in a 24-hour period, the FAA processes more than 300,000 flight plans in the U.S.

Bergen said the problem that occurred Tuesday afternoon involved an FAA facility in Hampton, Ga., south of Atlanta, that processes flight plans. She said there was a failure in a communication link that transmits the data to a similar facility in Salt Lake City.

As a result, the Salt Lake City facility was having to process those flight plans, causing delays in planes taking off. She said there were no problems landing for planes that were already in the air.

"There will be flight delays," Bergen said. "It could be any location, because one facility is now processing flight data for everybody."

(c) 2008 Telegraph - Herald (Dubuque). Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.