Computer glitches delay U.S. flights

The computer glitch that caused flight cancellations and delays around the country Thursday has been fixed, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

Air travelers nationwide scrambled to revise their travel plans Thursday after an FAA computer problem caused problems for the second time in 15 months.

The FAA said the problem, which lasted about five hours, was fixed around 10 a.m., but it was unclear how long flights would continue to be affected.

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Doug Church, a spokesman for the National Air Traffic Controllers Union, said controllers were still entering flight plans manually in some locations.

Aviation officials told The Associated Press that the problem began at the computer center in the Salt Lake City area. The officials asked not to be named because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

FAA spokesman Paul Takemoto said the problem started between 5:15 and 5:30 a.m. and affected mostly flight plans but also traffic management, such as ground stops and ground delays.

Airplane dispatchers had to send plans to controllers, who entered them into computers by hand.

"It's slowing everything down," Takemoto said.

Effects felt across nation
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world's busiest, has been particularly affected.

Among other problems reported across the country:

New York's La Guardia Airport was seeing delays of more than 1 hour and 20 minutes. Delays at Philadelphia International topped 2 hours.
Chicago's O'Hare International was experiencing delays of about 20 minutes. Midway saw delays of about 30 minutes.
Delays are expected at Los Angeles International (LAX) to begin around noon (PST) in some terminals.
So far, delays were minimal at Logan International Airport in Boston.
Orlando International Airport, Florida's busiest, reported about a dozen delays due to the chain reaction around the country, and flights in Tampa, Fla., were also delayed.
Mary Rulo, an educator from Atlanta, was trying to get to Philadelphia for a conference. She said her 9 a.m. flight was delayed until 3 p.m. and AirTran was not able to help with other arrangements.

"This is really going to affect my conference schedule," she said. "It's really frustrating."

As of 10 a.m. AirTran canceled 42 flights and dozens more flights were delayed. Delta Air Lines was also affected.

At Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, Va., nearly all departures were still on time. But passengers on AirTran flight 63 to Atlanta were trying to make other arrangements after that flight was canceled due to the glitch.
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