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Nationwide system outage causes minimal flight delays at Bloomington airport

The Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington had minimal disruptions from a nationwide halt to flights ordered by the federal government Wednesday morning.

Airport Director Carl Olson said the unprecedented outage of a system that provides flight safety information is troubling even though the Federal Aviation Administration handled it well.

"The FAA needs to get to the bottom of it, not only so they can find out what caused it so that it doesn't happen again, but also create a more structured contingency plan," said Olson.

A morning flight to Atlanta took off on time before the FAA grounded planes, said Olson. Dallas and Chicago flights were delayed. He said connecting passengers may have had disruptions because airlines had to scramble to adjust flight schedules and recovering from the disruption is not as simple as kicking back all flights a couple hours.

"I think it's more complicated than that. Remember this is for international flights, not just domestic ones. You have to think of the connectivity. I think it will be left up to airlines to get out of the situation created by the ground stop ordered by the FAA," said Olson.

The Peoria International Airport had three flights delayed because of the shutdown. The NOTAM system relays safety information based on flight plans before planes take off.

WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.
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