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The White House said on Wednesday (local time) that it has seen no indication of a cyber assault being the cause of a system outage at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which has caused hundreds of aircraft to be delayed.

According to White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, “there is no evidence of a cyber attack at this time, but the President has asked DOT to conduct a thorough inquiry into the causes.”

The overnight outage caused widespread inconvenience, with thousands of flights throughout the country delayed.

Meanwhile, the FAA removed its order to halt all domestic aircraft departures across the United States on Wednesday after restoring the system that provides pilots with pre-flight safety notices, CNN reported.

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden was briefed on the outage and spoke with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Wednesday morning.

“They don’t know what the cause is,” Biden told reporters, adding, “I told them to report immediately to me when they find out. Airplanes can still land safely; they just can’t take off right now. They don’t know what caused it, but they expect to have a decent idea of what caused it in a couple of hours and will reply then.”

It was the latest hiccup in domestic air travel, occurring about two weeks after Southwest Airlines cancelled more than half of its flights over a three-day period following Christmas, stranding thousands of travellers.

The FAA, the US regulatory authority, had issued a ground halt order after its NOTAM – or Notice to Air Missions – system failed. The FAA removed the restriction soon before 9 a.m. (local time), and the agency stated that normal air traffic operations across the country have resumed. According to CNN, it stated that it was still attempting to discover the root of the problem.

Previously, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) notified all aircraft operators of the airspace system breakdown, as all planes across the US were grounded due to a technical malfunction in the FAA’s computer system. Over 400 planes were delayed, according to the report.

United Airlines, based in the United States, said in a statement, “Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM), the FAA system that sends out vital real-time flight dangers and limits to all commercial airline pilots, is now experiencing a nationwide outage. United has temporarily cancelled all domestic flights and will provide an update once we receive additional information from the FAA.”

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