With Billions In Taxpayer Money, FAA Says Air Traffic Control ‘Glitch’ Strands Thousands Of Passengers

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Sarah Wilder Social Issues Reporter
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The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) 2023 budget includes focuses on “racial equity” and “environmental justice.” Just 11 days into the new year, the FAA canceled thousands of flights overnight.

A technology glitch affecting the Notice to Air Missions System, a system that alerts airport staff and pilots to abnormalities in airspace, forced the FAA to cancel all domestic flights late Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning. Normal airline operations began to resume shortly before 9:00 a.m. Wednesday morning, according to the agency. (RELATED: Judge Rules Catholic Hospital Discriminated Against Transgender Individual By Not Offering Sex-Change Surgery)

The 2023 budget for the Department of Transportation, of which the FAA is part, requests “an additional $20 million above the 2021 enacted level for the Office of the Secretary to lead DOT’s efforts to promote equity and inclusion.”

The budget also provides $15.2 billion in “discretionary” funds to help the FAA to “promote environmental justice and climate change mitigation.”

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has come under fire recently for his alleged inaction in response to the mass cancellations Southwest Airlines inflicted on travelers during the holiday season. Multiple state attorneys general had warned Buttigieg about the impending airline crisis in August, urging “meaningful action.” New York Attorney General Letitia James had also warned Buttigieg of a “deeply troubling and escalating pattern” of flight delays and cancelations.

Buttigieg commenced a $1 billion project in June, focused on fixing the problem of allegedly racist roads. The former South Bend mayor said that previous planners had laid out their roads “as part of a direct effort to replace or eliminate Black neighborhoods.”

The FAA has amped up diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts during Buttigieg’s tenure. In Dec. 2021, the FAA changed the acronym NOTAM, which originally stood for “Notice to Airmen,” to “Notice to Air Missions” in order to make the acronym “inclusive of all aviators.” Virginia Boyle, vice president of strategies and solutions at the FAA, wrote an article in June reflecting on “LGBTQIA+ visibility within the agency.” The FAA then shared the article on its official Twitter account.

The FAA did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.