Thousands of travelers along the East Coast faced flight delays today because of technical issues at an FAA center in Virginia, authorities said. FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said the agency is investigating an automation problem at an air traffic center in Leesburg, Virginia. Flights into and out of New York- and Washington-area airports were being grounded, with delays stretching to nearly three hours in some cases.
Information posted on an FAA website indicated that part of the trouble was due to a computer system known as ERAM, which is used by air traffic controllers at 20 centers around the country that handle high-altitude air traffic. Installation of the system was completed earlier this year at the last of the centers, years behind schedule. American Airlines said the issues were affecting all East Coast flights and urged passengers to plan accordingly. (Read more FAA stories.)