FAA’s Statement On Mysterious Air Traffic Halt Leaves More Questions Than Answers

The Federal Aviation Administration has finally put out an official statement regarding a still very mysterious ground stop order that it issued to all aircraft in the western U.S. and Hawaii yesterday around 2:30 PM PST. While the incident is now confirmed, there are still a significant number of unanswered questions, including the most important one: what triggered this decision in the first place?

There had been reports, as well as general speculation, that the ground stop may have been related to a North Korean missile launch that occurred right at almost the same time that FAA issued its order. This was not entirely out of the realm of reason. A Russian missile drill led to a false alarm about an incoming ballistic missile flying toward Ramstein Air Base in Germany, a major U.S. Air Force hub, in 2020. North Korea has been developing a slew of new and improved ballistic missiles in recent years, some of which have the capacity to reach the United States, including Hawaii, as well as smaller outlying territories in the Pacific.


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One pilot flying into Yuma told The War Zone they were alerted to what controllers called a “national ground stop” and ordered to land before it was lifted. On a Reddit/ATC thread, controllers were discussing the puzzling ground stop, which appears to have been contained to just the western United States. Some commented that they had not seen anything like it since 9/11. There was also an image that supposedly shows the flight slips with the ground stop orders on them that our friend @OSINTTechnical has reposted, as you can see below. We cannot confirm their authenticity at this time.


h/t Billxam


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