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Peoria International Airport fully operational after FAA system outage

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WCBU
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The Peoria International Airport is back operating as normal after an unusual outage of a system maintained by the Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday morning.

Director of Airports Gene Olson estimated Peoria International delayed or canceled three flights this morning during the outage and subsequent grounding of all departing flights, roughly between 6 and 8 a.m.

While the impact of the outage in Peoria was minimal, Olson said passengers should still be aware of changing circumstances.

“I would expect the big airports to be more impacted than we were,” he said. “And so, you know, as passengers land in Chicago, or Charlotte or Dallas, and they're making their connections that could be a little bit more disrupted.”

Olson advised making sure you have a phone with you and charged, to monitor any updates from airlines. He also said it can’t hurt to double check with a gate agent when departing a flight to make sure connecting flights are still on time.

NOTAM, or Notice to Air Missions, is the name of the system that went down. Olson said it’s used to relay important safety information about pilots’ flight path before they depart. This means flights already in the air didn’t experience any safety issues during the outage.

“A good example would be in the wintertime when we have snow conditions,” said Olson. “This is the same system where we would report type of snow or type of cementation, the type of, you know, whether it's ice or snow or whatever, what have you, and then how slippery the runway is.”

Olson said, to his knowledge, NOTAM has never experienced an outage before.

At Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington, a morning flight to Atlanta took off on time before the FAA grounded planes, while flights to Dallas and Chicago were delayed.

According to data from the tracking site FlightAware, almost 7,000 flights were delayed and 1,100 canceled by 10 a.m. In a tweet, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg announced an investigation into the cause of the outage and said his department would recommend steps forward.

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Collin Schopp is a reporter at WCBU. He joined the station in 2022.