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Technical gremlins forced the delay of thousands of flights in the United States overnight.

Nearly 10,000 flights to, from and within the United States were delayed yesterday after a technical outage with a safety system saw the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) impose a nationwide ‘ground stop’.

The FAA system known as ‘Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM)’ provides safety and route information to pilots generally involving nearby construction, runway closures, bird hazard warnings, flight restrictions, broken equipment or low obstacles which may be encountered on approach.

The outage, which began early Wednesday morning U.S. time, lasted around 90 minutes and prevented all flights yet to take off from doing so, resulting in a concertina of delays stretching well into the evening and beyond. Around 1,500 flights were cancelled as a result of the tech issues.

After systems were restored, airlines began the arduous process of recovering their operations and getting planes back into the sky.

The FAA has since commenced an investigation into the cause of the outage.