Software Glitch Delays Delta Airlines Flights

Software outage delays two dozen Delta flights in the US, adding to growing number of aviation-computer incidents

A fault with ground operation computer systems has resulted in delays to at least two dozen flights with US airline Delta.

Th glitch comes as more and more airlines integrate computer technology into their day-to-day operations.

Flight Delays

Delta Air Lines confirmed that two dozen flights on Tuesday were delayed as a result of a brief outage in its software that controls ground operations.

“A brief functionality outage in Delta software that powers ground operations resulted in approximately two dozen short boarding delays in the noon hour Eastern time Tuesday,” a Delta representative told CNBC.

“Delta does not expect any further delays due to this minor issue,” the airline reported said. “At no time were any flights en route adversely affected.”

aeroplane takeoffThere was no word as to the exact nature of the software fault, and the delays to some of the flights of the Atlanta-based airline is known to have impacted journalists in Iowa covering the caucuses ahead of the US presidential election in 2016.

Aviation Concerns

Yet this is not the first time that computer problems have delayed or cancelled flights. These technical disruptions come as airlines increasingly utilise technology in their day-today operations, including the automation of tasks usually carried out by staff (e-tickets, e-boarding passes) and Wi-Fi onboard the aircraft.

The US Government Accountability Office has previously warned that in-flight Wi-Fi could be used by terrorists or other hackers to take control of an aircraft’s avionic systems.

It is concerned because avionic systems that have traditionally been self-contained are now sharing the same network as passenger Wi-Fi, raising the possibility of remote unauthorised access.

Last year United Airlines was the target of a data breach linked to a group of China-backed hackers.

Also last year, Delta had its social media outlets targeted by hackers, who posted an article about oral sex on its official Facebook page.

The airline took an hour to remove the offensive content, despite many of the company’s 1.5 million Facebook followers being quick to point out the problem.

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