Joe Biden Orders Federal Aviation Administration to Turn Flight System Back On After Catastrophic Outage
President Joe Biden on Wednesday responded to the news of a catastrophic Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) computer outage by ordering the department to turn the systems back on.
“The president directed DOT/FAA to restore the system quickly and safely, and to determine causes,” White House chief of staff Ron Klain informed the public on social media, asserting that Biden was on top of the situation.
.@POTUS was briefed by @SecretaryPete early this morning. @POTUS directed DOT/FAA to restore the system quickly and safely, and to determine causes. @SecretaryPete will provide @POTUS an update later this morning.
— Ronald Klain (@WHCOS) January 11, 2023
The system outage caused thousands of flight delays across the country on Wednesday morning, as the FAA ordered all flights to delay departures until at least 9:00 am.
Klain said that Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg briefed Biden about the problem Wednesday morning and would provide an update later in the day.
Biden himself addressed members of the media who traveled to Walter Reed Hospital with his wife First Lady Jill Biden for what the White House described as a scheduled outpatient procedure, commonly known as Mohs surgery, for the first lady.
President Biden tells reporters this morning he has been briefed on the FAA system outage.
“Aircraft can still land safely, just not take off right now. They don’t know what the cause of it is.” pic.twitter.com/M6k4b4ilZT
— Reshad Hudson (@ReshadHudson) January 11, 2023
“They don’t know what the cause is. But I was on the phone with him (garbled). I told them to report directly to me when they find out. Aircraft can still land safely, just not take off right now. They don’t know what the cause of it is, they expect in a couple of hours they’ll have a good sense of what caused it and will respond at that time.”
The incident is the latest of many snarls in air travel during the Biden administration under former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s leadership.
Biden’s massive infrastructure bill signed last year only invests one billion a year for five years to upgrade FAA air traffic control systems.
“Air traffic control facilities are the nerve centers of our airspace system, and a big part of the reason why flying is the safest mode of transportation,” Buttigieg said in April, hailing the small boost in funding as an important step to improve the systems.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre notified the public of the outage on social media, asserting there was “no evidence” of a cyberattack on the FAA systems “at this point.”
The President has been briefed by the Secretary of Transportation this morning on the FAA system outage. There is no evidence of a cyberattack at this point, but the President directed DOT to conduct a full investigation into the causes. The FAA will provide regular updates.
— Karine Jean-Pierre (@PressSec) January 11, 2023
“The President directed DOT to conduct a full investigation into the causes,” she wrote.
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