Richmond airport expects delays throughout the day

Yet another mess in airports across the country.
Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 10:52 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 11, 2023 at 7:01 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - Delays plagued Richmond International Airport on Wednesday after all flights were grounded in the morning due to a computer outage.

The domino effect of the issue was on full display as many travelers saw disruptions. The Federal Aviation Administration ordered a stop to all flights when there was an issue with the Notice to Air Missions System.

According to FlightAware, as of 6 p.m. Wednesday, RIC saw 60 delays and seven cancelations.

Between 5 and 9 a.m. Wednesday, RIC had 23 departures scheduled.

Airport officials say a “handful” of flights made it out before the ground stop, including cargo flights from FedEx and UPS.

Many travelers we spoke with got held up on the runway and had to deplane and wait in the airport until the issue was fixed.

“They were giving us updates periodically and apologized for the delay, but they had to wait for the system to come back up,” traveler Margo Shorter said.

The FAA says its “Notice To Air Missions” system failed. This system is critical for pilots to consult before taking off.

It lists potential issues flights could run into, from runway construction to ice, so you can’t fly without getting the green light.

“At first I was a little upset, but I was like okay, everything happens for a reason,” traveler Kimberly Burison said.

A total of 124 flights were set to take off from Richmond Wednesday. Almost half of those flights were pushed back as the delays were unavoidable.

Our own Megan Wise got stuck in the mess.

“Everything was good, and we got to the gate, and we were told about half an hour before our departing flight that the flights were all grounded,” she said.

It’s no secret flyers haven’t been able to catch a break lately between weather issues, the Southwest meltdown and lingering staffing shortages.

“You certainly start to think, ‘What’s going on?’.We just had that big disruption with Southwest not even 2 weeks ago, so another thing at the airport makes people wonder, ‘What happened to the computers’?” Wise said.

A big concern during this outage was med-flights for patients and organ donation.

We’re told some medical flights could get clearance to take off.

The outage did not impact any military operations.

“Due to the ground stop, there may be disruptions and delays throughout the day,” said Airport spokesperson Troy Bell.

Travelers can check for their flight status.