ShareThis Page
Business

Computer glitch, storms delay flights in 11 cities, including Pittsburgh

| Saturday, June 9, 2007

U.S. air traffic slowed Friday at 11 major airports because of a computer malfunction and thunderstorms -- adding to the year's record airline delays, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The affected airports included Atlanta, Cleveland, Phoenix, Dallas-Fort Worth, LaGuardia and Kennedy in New York and Newark and Teterboro in New Jersey, the FAA said on its Web site.

"There are 50 airplanes on the ground at this moment" at LaGuardia, Doug Church, spokesman for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, said yesterday afternoon, noting that his information was based on talking with controllers. "It's probably the worst day at LaGuardia this year."

"We had no flight delays at Pittsburgh International -- in fact, we had none systemwide," said US Airways spokesman Morgan Durrant.

Delta Air Lines spokesman Anthony Black said the airline had no delays in Pittsburgh.

Southwest Airlines' spokesman Whitney Eichinger, though, said the airline experienced delays of between 1.5 to two hours from Pittsburgh into Philadelphia.

Failures in FAA flight-plan computers at 6:57 a.m. yesterday in Atlanta and later in Salt Lake City forced the agency to process flight plans manually -- causing delays in the traffic system, spokesman Paul Takemoto said.

"The problem has since been resolved, but there are residual delays in LaGuardia and Philadelphia that are compounded by bad weather," Takemoto said.

Flight delays in other cities, including Chicago and Detroit, were attributed to bad weather, not equipment failure, Takemoto said.

Through April, U.S. airlines have managed only 72.5 percent of flights on time this year -- the worst rate since the federal government began keeping track in the current format in 1995.

Flight delays could extend into the summer travel season because of high traffic volumes and storms, said the FAA and analysts.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me