Press Releases

Statement from Chairman Sam Graves on FAA System Meltdown

Washington, D.C., January 11, 2023 | Justin Harclerode (202) 225-9446
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Statement from Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) regarding today’s meltdown of the National Airspace System:

“Americans awoke this morning to the largest ground stop of our National Airspace System since 9/11. While it appears at this time that the Notice to Air Missions – or NOTAM – system malfunction was not the result of a cybersecurity breach, it highlights a huge vulnerability in our air transportation system. Just as Southwest’s widespread disruption just a few weeks ago was inexcusable, so too is the DOT’s and FAA’s failure to properly maintain and operate the air traffic control system.

“This incident also underscores the number of empty desks and vacant offices at the FAA. Centuries of combined experience has gone out the door in the past several years and far too few of these positions have been filled. The FAA does not run on autopilot – it needs skilled, dedicated, and permanent leadership in positions across the agency, starting with the Administrator’s office. It’s been nearly a year since the FAA has had a permanent Administrator, and with the current nominee’s troubling resume, the Biden Administration seems to think this lack of qualified leadership can go on indefinitely.

“I have many questions about what transpired today, and I expect the FAA to provide a full briefing to Members of Congress as soon as they learn more. I will also be leading an oversight letter with my colleagues to make sure that we know what went wrong, who’s responsible, and how this is going to be prevented in the future. And just as DOT expected Southwest to make passengers whole after their leadership failures, I expect a prompt update on DOT’s efforts to do right by the passengers it has wronged.”  
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Tags: Aviation