Canada's air hazard notification system experiences brief disruption

Nav Canada said it began experiencing an problem with its Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) entry system on Wednesday morning that left it unable to send new updates to airlines. (Ted Dillon/CBC - image credit)
Nav Canada said it began experiencing an problem with its Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) entry system on Wednesday morning that left it unable to send new updates to airlines. (Ted Dillon/CBC - image credit)

The computer system that alerts airlines and pilots flying in Canadian airspace to potential hazards experienced a brief disruption on Wednesday.

The system, called the Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) system, is operated by Nav Canada, a private non-profit that owns and operates Canada's air traffic control system.

Nav Canada said it began experiencing problems with the NOTAM entry system on Wednesday morning that left it unable to send new updates to airlines.

No flights were delayed as a result, said Nav Canada, and the system came back online in the early afternoon.

"We continue to monitor our systems and investigate the cause," the company tweeted.

Later Wednesday evening, Nav Canada said it believed the issue was caused by a computer hardware failure. The agency ruled out the possibility that it was caused by a cyber attack.

Prolonged outage in the U.S.

A number of Canadian flights to and from the U.S. were disrupted Tuesday and Wednesday due to a breakdown in the U.S. NOTAM system.

A computer outage that started Tuesday night resulted in thousands of delays and hundreds of flight cancellations quickly cascading through the system at airports across the U.S.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said the cause of the outage is not yet clear. Nav Canada said it doesn't believe its own outage is related to the one south of the border.