Brainerd airport sees brief delays from nationwide system outage

The disruption stemmed from problems with the Notice to Air Missions system, or NOTAM, which conveys advisory information essential for flight operations.

Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport building exterior.
Renee Richardson/Brainerd Dispatch
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BRAINERD — Flight departures in the U.S. began resuming early Wednesday, Jan. 11, after an overnight outage to a key air-traffic system prompted authorities to ground planes nationwide.

The Federal Aviation Administration said normal air traffic operations were gradually returning as it lifted the ground stop shortly before 8 a.m., Bloomberg News reported. The disruption stemmed from problems with the Notice to Air Missions system, or NOTAM, which conveys advisory information essential for flight operations.

The dramatic system disruption is one of the most significant in recent decades for the FAA, Bloomberg News reported, and comes after a year of tests of the nation’s air system as the return from COVID-19 stressed airlines and air-traffic operations.

At the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport, the morning flight Wednesday was able to get into Brainerd though it was a little delayed, said Steven Wright, airport manager.

Wright added they’ve been able to communicate with airlines in different ways and get passengers in and out of Brainerd.


“Delays were kind of taking place both due to the freezing rain and that NOTAM issue just with communications,” Wright said. “…The whole team worked together between the airline, airport, the FAA, flight controllers. We’re able to get flights in and out of Brainerd and through to Minneapolis.”

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