FAA Flight Plan System Causes Mass Delays

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Computer problems at one of the FAA's two flight plan processing facilities caused flight delays throughout the country on Tuesday. The FAA said flight planning for the eastern area of the U.S., normally handled at a facility in Hampton, Ga., just outside Atlanta, had to be shifted to a Salt Lake City facility that serves the West and that caused delays. The agency said there were no safety issues involved and radio contact and radar service has been maintained. It's not known how long it will take to fix the problem. Problems at the same Georgia facility in June of 2007 caused severe delays throughout the system.

The computer problems, reportedly with the National Airspace Data Exchange Network (NADIN), happened about 1:30 p.m. and by late afternoon flights were typically delayed by 90 to 105 minutes. FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen told the Atlanta Constitution-Journal that the system would likely be restored by Wednesday. At one point on Tuesday, the FAA asked that no further flight plans be filed.