Flights Delayed Nationwide after FAA Glitch

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Thousands of commercial airline flights have been cancelled or delayed nationwide, Thursday, after a morning computer malfunction.
    
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Paul Takemoto said the problem started between 5:15 and 5:30 a.m Thursday morning because of problems with their system that collects airline flight plans.

"It's slowing everything down," Takemoto said.
    
The FAA said the problem was fixed around 10 a.m., and flight plans are being inputted manually now because of the malfunction.

It is unclear how long flights would continue to be delayed from the ripple effect.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world's busiest, was particularly affected by the computer malfunction.

AirTran has canceled at least 22 flights and Delta Air Lines has also seen significant delays. Effects were also seen in Chicago, Washington, D.C., New York and Orlando.

Victor Santore, the National Air Traffic Controllers Union southern region vice president, said air traffic controllers were scrambling to help enter flight plans manually.

"When something crazy like this happens, we'll pull everybody onto the floor," Santore said. "Every airport at some point some will be affected ... (The delays) are going to ripple through the entire system."

Passengers have been asked to check the status of their flights throughout the day online before going to airports.

This is the second time in 15 months that a glitch created such problems. In August 2008, a software malfunction also delayed hundreds of flights nationwide.

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