LEESBURG, Va., Aug. 15 (UPI) — Flights in airspace along the East Coast were disrupted for hours Saturday due to a technical glitch at the Federal Aviation Administration‘s northern Virginia control center, officials said.
The glitch occurred in an automated system at the agency’s air traffic control center in Leesburg, Va., affecting flights leaving and arriving at multiple airports in the New York City and Washington, D.C. areas.
As those airports are responsible for a great share of East Coast air traffic, the glitch caused cancellations, delays and reroutes, the FAA said. Just after 2 p.m. EDT, the agency said the system was back online.
“The agency is working w/airlines to return to normal operations & expects to lift any remaining traffic management programs by 4 PM EDT,” the FAA tweeted. “FAA is continuing root cause analysis to determine what caused the problem & is working closely w/airlines to minimize impacts to travelers.”
The New York City area’s airports — JFK, LaGuardia and Newark-Liberty — operate traffic for some of the most congested airspace in the world. Washington, D.C.’s Reagan National and Dulles also operate at high volume.
The FAA didn’t specify exactly how many flights were disrupted, but it did say the glitch was not the result of a security breach.