Deleted files caused flights cancelation

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — The computer glitch that forced the temporary suspension last week of United States domestic airline departures was caused by a contractor mistakenly deleting files, the country’s aviation regulator said Thursday.

Damage to a database file had already been pinpointed by the Federal Aviation Administration as a probable cause of the 11 January issue, which prompted flight cancelations and delays nationwide.

During the hours-long outage, pilots could not access the system known as Notice to Air Missions, which provides information about hazards, changes to airport facilities and information that can affect flights.

A preliminary report showed that “contract personnel unintentionally deleted files while working to correct synchronization between the live primary database and a backup database,” the FAA said on Thursday.

The investigation is continuing, but the agency said it has not yet found any evidence linking the incident to malicious intent or a cyber attack.

The FAA has made the necessary repairs and taken steps to make the NOTAM “more resilient” it said.

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