Last updated: 10:19 PM ET, Sun August 16 2015

FAA: Software Update May Be To Blame For 'Flypocalypse'

Impacting Travel | Michael Isenbek | August 16, 2015

FAA: Software Update May Be To Blame For 'Flypocalypse'

Photo via Twitter/navybook

An air traffic control technical problem in Virginia that caused hundreds of delayed and canceled flights along the East Coast could have been caused by a software update, the Associated Press reported.

A Federal Aviation Administration statement issued on Sunday presented this possibility, and stated that the upgrade was intended to give controllers more tools. The statement said, according to the AP, that the new features have been deactivated while a systems contractor analyzes the malfunction.

Dubbed the ‘Flypocalypse’ on social media, the weekend saw about 492 delays and 476 cancellations related to the technical problem, the agency said via the AP.

Air traffic was reduced in the skies above Baltimore-Washington International Airport, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Dulles International Airport partly for safety reasons, the AP said.

Departing flights from Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey and John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports in New York that usually travel over the Washington area were affected as well, but the FAA said, per the AP, that they were trying to route flights around the region of concern.

The FAA indicated Saturday that the En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) computer system at the Leesburg, Virginia air traffic control center was the source of all the issues, the AP said.

But the FAA pointed out Sunday, via the AP, that it was the software upgrade itself that caused the malfunction, saying there is, "no indication that the problem is related to any inherent problems with the En Route Automation Modernization system, which has had a greater than 99.99 availability rate since it was completed nationwide earlier this year."

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