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Air-Traffic Control Software Glitch Grounds Flights in Los Angeles

Orbitz Names LAX As Busiest Airport For 2011 Thanksgiving TravelOrbitz Names LAX As Busiest Airport For 2011 Thanksgiving Travel
Travelers are stopped at a security check point at Los Angeles International Airport on November 23, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Photograph by Kevork Djansezian — Getty Images

Planes arriving and departing Los Angeles International Airport were delayed on Thursday after a problem with air-traffic control software briefly halted all flights, according to U.S. and local air traffic officials.

The Federal Aviation Administration ordered a ground stop for all flights into and out of the airport at about 8 a.m. PDT, airport spokeswoman Nancy Castles said in an email.

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At 8:30 a.m. PDT, departures resumed and 30 minutes later the FAA’s air traffic control tower at LAX lifted the ground stop completely, she said.

“The ground stop has been lifted,” FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer said in an email. “However, it will take a while to clear up the residual delays.”

Airport officials said on their Twitter page that the delays were lasting between 30 minutes and 45 minutes.

The delays stemmed from a software issue with the radar system at a facility in San Diego where air traffic controllers direct aircraft as they approach the airport, Kenitzer said.

Technicians fixed the problem at 9 a.m. PDT, he said.