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East Coast Flights Returning To Normal After Glitch Causes Delays

Alisha Lalani, 10, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., looks at her phone as her mother and brother check in for their flight to Miami at Washington's Reagan National Airport. Their flight was one of thousands delayed as a result of a technical glitch with an FAA automated system.
Jacquelyn Martin

Updated at 4:35 p.m. ET

After thousands of flights were delayed as a result of technical problems with FAA automation at one of its centers in Virginia, the agency says the problem has been resolved and that flights are returning to normal.

Here's our original post:

Thousands of flights in and out of New York and Washington, D.C., have been delayed due to technical problems at a Federal Aviation Administration center in Virginia, authorities said.

Some delays were as long as 2 hours, 45 minutes, officials said.

"The FAA is diagnosing an automation problem at an air traffic center in Leesburg, VA," the agency said in a statement. "Some flights into and out of the New York and Washington, D.C. metro area airports area may be delayed. We are directing high altitude traffic around the affected airspace."

The Associated Press reports that part of the trouble is due to "a computer system known as ERAM that air traffic controllers used at 20 centers around the country that handle high-altitude air traffic. Installation of the system was completed earlier this year at the last of the centers, years behind schedule."

NPR's Sonari Glinton says the FAA is directing high-altitude traffic around the affected airspace and that more than 130 flights had been grounded.

"Airlines are telling passengers to expect delays to last throughout the day and to plan accordingly," Sonari says.

"There are widespread impacts on airline flight operations throughout the regions," said Jonathan Dean, a spokesman for Baltimore's airport tells the AP.

He said takeoffs and landings at airports in the region are "extremely limited."

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Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.
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