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On Jan. 11, all U.S. flights were grounded after a Federal Aviation Administration (FFA) data outage. It’s the first time U.S. air space has been shut down since 9/11. The travel nightmare comes just weeks after Southwest Airlines cancelled thousands of flights due to weather and staffing.

  • The outage affected the Notice to Air Missions system, which is a critical system for safety, William J. McGee, senior fellow for aviation at the American Economic Liberties Project, said.
  • The FAA is underfunded, which causes a lack of safety inspectors and a lack of attention on the IT systems, he stated.
  • The American Economic Liberties Project recommends eliminating federal pre-emption for airlines, which says only Congress and the Department of Transportation have oversight of the airline industry, because the DoT has been historically ineffective at regulating the airline industry, McGee explained.

SEE ALSO | Government must fix radio altimeters to address 5G concerns, says former FCC chairman

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