Computer Glitch Causes Nationwide Flight Delays
Planes in the air not affected
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 19, 2009 8:23 AM CST
A Northwest Airlines plane taxis as another lifts off at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)

(Newser) – A problem with the FAA system that collects airlines' flight plans has caused widespread flight cancellations and delays across the US today. An FAA spokeswoman says she doesn't know how many flights are being affected or when the problem will be resolved, but the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world's busiest airport, has been particularly affected. AirTran had canceled 22 flights and dozens more flights were delayed as of 8am EST. Delta Air Lines also has been affected.

An AirTran spokesman said there's no danger to flights in the air, and flights are still taking off and landing. But flight plans, he said, must be inputted manually because of a malfunction with the automated system. Flight plans are collected by the FAA for traffic nationwide at two centers—one in the Salt Lake City area and the other in the Atlanta area. The FAA hasn't confirmed which center was affected today.