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FAA Lifts Ground Stop Order After System Failure, President Biden Briefed; Airline Stocks Slide

"Normal air traffic operations are resuming gradually across the U.S. following an overnight outage to the Notice to Air Missions system," the FAA said.

Updated at 9:19 am EST

U.S. airline stocks were active Wednesday after the Federal Aviation Administration lifted its ground stop alert for all domestic flights following the failure of a key computer system.

The FAA said its Notice to Air Missions system, known as NOTAM, had failed at around 4:18 am Eastern time, preventing it from updating pilots and flight personnel from receiving updates on conditions, facility changes, hazards and procedures.

A nationwide grounding was immediately put in place, but was lifted by the FAA at around 8:55 am Eastern time, the FAA indicated. A spokesperson for the White House said President Joe Biden had been briefed on the situation, but added the cause of the disruption was unknown. 

The Wall Street Journal reported that more than 21,000 flights, carrying more than 2.9 million passengers, were scheduled for take-off Wednesday. 

FlightAware, the flight tracking website, reported 4,314 aircraft delays into, within, or out of the United States following the FAA NOTAM update as of 8:55 am Eastern time. Flights that are already airborne are still able to communicate with traffic control towers at their take-off or arrival airports.

Delta Air Lines  (DAL) - Get Free Report shares were marked 0.34% lower in pre-market trading to indicate an opening bell price of $37.96 each. American Airlines  (AAL) - Get Free Report fell 0.26% to $15.15 each while Southwest Airlines  (LUV) - Get Free Report fell 2% to $35.50 each. 

United Airlines  (UAL) - Get Free Report was marked 0.66% lower at $45.45 each. 

"The FAA system that sends out important real-time flight hazards & restrictions to all commercial airline pilots ... is currently suffering a nationwide outage," United Airlines said in a statement. "United has temporarily delayed all domestic flights and will issue an update when we learn more from the FAA."