(NEW YORK) A computer outage that forced the US civil aviation regulator (FAA) to temporarily suspend US domestic flights on January 11 was caused by a contractor mistakenly deleting files, the FAA said on Thursday.
Jan. The agency earlier blamed the failure on a damaged database file that caused thousands of cancellations and delays on 11.
A preliminary report showed that a contractor “accidentally deleted files while synchronizing between the main database and the backup database,” the company said Thursday.
The investigation is ongoing, but the company says it has found no evidence linking the incident to malicious activity or a cyber attack.
On the other hand, the FAA is taking steps to ensure that the relevant information system is “highly resilient” to alerting flight crews in real-time to potential hazards on the ground or in the air.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said on Jan. 11 that he asked the FAA to determine the cause of the problem and explain why the systems that are supposed to be responsible in the event of problems did not work.
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