LONDON – Former U.S. President Donald Trump has stated that the country has commercial aviation problems because it is the “equivalent of a third-world nation”.
According to Just The News, President Trump made the comments on the Truth Social platform earlier today, around an hour into the systems outage.
“All flights have been canceled throughout the Good Ol’ USA due to incompetence and the fact that we are now living in the equivalent of a Third World Nation”, he said in the post.
Thousands of Delays and Cancellations…
Well over 5,000 flights have been either delayed or canceled over the course of today’s system outage at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
According to Reuters, the US Federal Aviation Administration NOTAM system (Notice to Air Missions), which essentially provides alerts of hazards, airspace alerts, and changes in airport facility services, was not processing updated information, leading to mass groundings.
The FAA initially notified the failure of the system. According to their website at the time, technicians are working to restore the system, although there presently is no posted ETA for service resumption.
Systems have been since restored, with the ground stop removed at 9 am ET earlier today.
20,000 flights are due to depart US airports today
According to aviation analytics firm Cirium, over 2000 flights were scheduled to depart from US airports today, Wednesday 11 January. This gives some idea of the extent of the disruption caused by the system outage.
Their data reveals the following breakdown:
- A total of 21,464 flights are scheduled to depart airports in the US today (11 January)
- Nearly 2.9 million seats are available on these departures, showing the extent of the disruption
- American Airlines has the most departures from US airports today (4,819), followed by Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines.
Source: Cirium – www.cirium.com
Where Is The Money Going?
Many of those are in agreement with President Trump on the system outages with the FAA, bringing into question the condition of those computer systems.
Those on the right wing of the ideological spectrum are also beginning to ask questions about where their budget is going.
For the current fiscal year, the FAA’s budget is $23.5 billion and has been slightly higher at $28bn during COVID.
It would have been expected that given the higher budget expenditure compared to the $17.5 billion in 2019, many of those are asking: Where is the money going?
With Southwest Airlines suffering a similar fiasco a couple of weeks ago, questions are definitely being asked surrounding the integrity of the IT systems in U.S. aviation.
All eyes will be on Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who, over the course of today, has been answering questions from the press to try and minimize the problem as much as possible.
However, with the stories observed from passengers over the course of today, that might be difficult to manage, with airlines already handing out waivers on travel.
It is unclear how much financial damage this has done to the country, but we can probably expect it to be higher than the $800m+ suffered by Southwest Airlines.