By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. lawmakers pressed the acting head of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Thursday on steps the agency was taking to ensure there would be no repeat of a pilot messaging database failure that led to the first nationwide ground stop since 2001.
“It was just purely a screwup,” said Representative Sam Graves, who heads the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, after emerging from a meeting with Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen.
On Wednesday, the FAA told lawmakers it had revoked access to a pilot messaging database by contractor personnel involved in a file deletion that disrupted more than 11,000 flights on Jan. 11.
Asked if he was confident it would not happen again, Graves said: “I can’t say that. It’s the FAA. It’s a government-run operation.”
Graves plans to hold a Feb. 7 hearing that will look at aviation safety issues.