Legislation introduced in U.S. Senate to prevent future FAA system outages

FILE - A Southwest Airlines passenger jet takes off from Chicago's Midway Airport as flight...
FILE - A Southwest Airlines passenger jet takes off from Chicago's Midway Airport as flight delays stemming from a computer outage at the Federal Aviation Administration brought departures to a standstill across the U.S earlier Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)(Charles Rex Arbogast | AP)
Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 1:51 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Senator Moran has helped to introduce legislation in the U.S. Senate that would help prevent future system outages in the Federal Aviation Administration.

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) announced on Thursday, Jan. 26, that he and Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.) Introduced legislation to study and help prevent Federal Aviation Administration system outages.

“The FAA has a responsibility to make certain air travel in the U.S. is as safe and efficient as possible,” said Sen. Moran. “The complete failure of the NOTAM system stranded millions of Americans and was a warning of the need to strengthen and modernize our air travel system. This legislation will help meet the demands of 21st-century travel and help prevent a similar failure in the future.”

On Jan. 11, Moran, co-chair of the Senate Travel and Tourism Caucus, said the FAA’s Notice to Air Missions system failed which grounded flights nationwide. The legislation, the NOTAM Improvement Act, would require the FAA to establish a task force to strengthen the cybersecurity of the system. The system alerts pilots of safety and location hazards on flight routes.

“Travelers in the United States deserve safe and dependable air travel service, not nationwide ground stops caused by system failures,” said Klobuchar. “By upgrading and modernizing the FAA’s NOTAM system, our bipartisan legislation would improve aviation safety and prevent system outages from derailing travel. As co-chair of the bipartisan Travel and Tourism Caucus, I look forward to working with Representative Stauber and my colleagues in the Senate to advance this bill and strengthen our air travel infrastructure.”

Moran, a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transporation with jurisdiction over the FAA, noted that U.S. Representative Pete Stauber (R-Minn.) introduced companion legislation in the House earlier in January.

“After the Notice to Air Missions system failure grounded air traffic in the United States on January 11th, it is imperative that a group of aviation experts is assembled to look at ways to improve this vital safety system,” said Capito. “That’s exactly what our legislation would do, and I am proud to help lead this effort that will help strengthen the NOTAM system for pilots and essential personnel. I look forward to working with my colleagues to get this bill passed quickly and sent to the president’s desk.”

Moran indicated that the task force would consist of representatives from air carriers, airports, airline pilots, aircraft dispatchers, air traffic control specialists and FAA personnel unions, general and business aviation representatives, as well as aviation safety and cybersecurity experts.

Earlier in January, the Senator said he and Klobuchar spoke with FAA Acting Administrator Billy Nolen after the system failure to discuss the agency’s efforts to find what caused the outage and prevent similar breakdowns.