Delta CEO Wants Politics Out of FAA Funding Following Outage

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian made a call to action for more funding and investment in the U.S. air traffic control system after an outage Wednesday disrupted more than 11,000 flights across the country. “It’s very clear that there has to be a call to action amongst our political leaders, the Congress and the White House, to fund and properly provide the FAA the resources they need to do the job,” Bastian said during the Atlanta-based carrier’s fourth-quarter results call on Friday.

The flight disruptions occurred after a corrupted file forced an overnight reboot of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s Notice to Air Missions, or NOTAM, system that communicates safety notices to pilots. The system is reportedly 30 years old. The regulator instituted a nationwide ground stop for all departing flights at 7 a.m. EST on Wednesday when it could not confirm that messages were being relayed to crews. The ground stop was lifted by 9 a.m EST but not before flight delays and cancellations had rippled across the country.