FAA computer meltdown leads to flight delays and chaos, but no danger


The Federal Aviation Administration suffered a "widespread" computer malfunction Thursday morning, sending key parts of the national air traffic control system haywire and affecting Logan International in Boston, Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta, and all three major airports in New York. Authorities said the pilots were having trouble retrieving flight plans. CNN reported that the same system -- the National Airspace Data Interchange Network -- also failed last year. All flight plans were routed through Salt Lake City. Inclement weather was also delaying flights in the Northeast. According to the FAA, the computer system has been brought back online.

"The FAA has not seen a meltdown like this in years," a Continental Airlines (CAL) pilot told his passengers, CNBC's Becky Quick reported from a plane stuck at the gate at Newark Liberty International Airport. Quick said the pilot told passengers the system "completely melted down" today at 5 a.m. EST, forcing airline personnel to fill out flight plans by hand.