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FAA computer glitch fixed; few flight delays expected at West Coast airports

November 19, 2009 |  9:45 am

A glitch in the FAA system that collects airlines' flight plans was repaired this morning and is not expected to affect travel to and from West Coast airports, officials said today.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said there will be some residual delays, but not many because the glitch occurred early in the morning when West Coast air traffic was low.

The FAA experienced a problem with one of its computers that processes flight plan information. Flight plans include all planned information for a flight, including destination, type of aircraft, speed and destination. They are processed nationwide by computers at centers in Atlanta and Salt Lake City.

Early reports indicated the problem originated in Atlanta, but Gregor said that it being investigated. Nationwide, there were widespread cancellations and delays of flights this morning because of the glitch.

Gregor said there was a similar problem with flight-plan processing in the Atlanta office in August 2008, delaying about 650 flights in the East and Midwest. An FAA spokesman at the time referred to it as an “internal software processing” problem. The FAA is investigating the cause of the problem.

Gregor said the problem was not a safety issue. “We have radar coverage and communications with planes,” he said.

-- Baxter Holmes

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