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Systems outage delays dozens of MSP flights

As of 5:00 p.m., 98 flights were listed as delayed and 17 canceled at MSP International Airport.

MINNEAPOLIS — A nationwide system outage has paused takeoffs at every airport in America, including delays and cancelations at MSP International Airport.

The flight board on the MSP website showed 98 flights had been delayed and another 17 canceled as of 5:00 p.m. Wednesday. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) told all airlines to pause domestic takeoffs as it fixed its critical "NOTAM" system, which reportedly went offline shortly after 11 p.m. eastern time Tuesday.

NOTAM is designed to provide pilots and air traffic controllers with critical information as it develops, including changes in weather or conditions at a certain airport.  

FAA officials announced shortly after 8 a.m. that national air traffic operations were gradually resuming, although it will certainly take the system awhile to catch up.  

Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) spokesperson Jeff Lea said delays were probably in the cards Wednesday anyway with the winter storm system that left the Twin Cities and parts of greater Minnesota coated in ice. Crews would have been forced to de-ice every outgoing flight due to the conditions, which usually triggers backups.

KARE 11 assignment editor Brian Lundeen was moments from boarding a Delta flight to Phoenix when the stop order came down from the FAA. He says restaurants and food vendors in the MSP concourse quickly filled up, and notes that passengers were pretty calm in the face of the universal delays.  

Credit: Brian Lundeen
KARE 11 assignment editor Brian Lundeen says MSP passengers remained calm and understanding despite widespread delays in the flight system Wednesday.

MAC's Lea says with the uncertainty surrounding the restoration of NOTAM and when the system will catch up, anyone with a flight scheduled for Wednesday should call their airline to check on flight status. 

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