FOX47 NEWS - Nationwide Computer Glitch Affects Madison Flights

Jeff Angileri
Aug 26, 2008, 10:08 PM

Travelers across the country faced massive delays Tuesday after a computer glitch crippled flights, including some in Madison.

The federal Aviation Administration says one of its two national flight plan systems went down around 1:30 p.m., causing headaches for travelers.

With large airports swamped, Dane County travelers could still see additional delays and cancellations.

The FAA has assured the public that this is not a safety issue, said Dane County Regional Airport spokesperson Sharyn Wisniewski. They have not lost contact with any aircraft.

Still, without flight plans, airplanes can't take off. Airline dispatchers now have to program flight plans manually, which takes more time.

They tried to get me on another flight but it didn't work out, said traveler Jodi Mulcahy. She will be spending the night in Madison again, after her flight to Cincinnati was canceled.

It kind of stinks. I'm supposed to get home this evening. I have meetings in the morning. But, one more day with my family's okay.

One flight headed to Madison was canceled as well--about 50 people are stuck in Atlanta tonight.

It looks like there is significant delay and stoppage in the Atlanta airport, said Wisniewski. They not only have computer problems they have thunderstorms.

And while Atlanta and Chicago are seeing the brunt of the delays, Madison airport officials know more delays and cancellations here are possible.

Said Wisniewski, It certainly could have trickle down effects.

The FAA is trying to clear the backlog of planes in the sky, but no word on when the Atlanta system will be up and running again.

Meanwhile, Madison airport officials ask passengers to call ahead before coming to the airport to make sure flights are still cleared for take off.

Passengers said the airlines have been very helpful and cooperative in finding people alternate flights.

Web link: www.msnairport.com

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