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Flight delays plague Northeast after air traffic control problem

Passengers at Washington Dulles International Airport.
Getty Images
Passengers at Washington Dulles International Airport.

An automation problem at an air traffic control center in Leesburg, Va., on Saturday delayed flights throughout the region, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

Flights in and out of New York and Washington, D.C., area airports are affected by the technical problem, the FAA said in a statement. The statement said the FAA is "directing high altitude traffic around the affected airspace."

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The Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport tweeted Saturday afternoon that a computer outage was keeping arrivals and departures at Reagan National Airport, Dulles International Airport and its own airport at a minimum.

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Representatives from Southwest Airlines said the outage was also causing delays and cancellations at Richmond International Airport, Norfolk International Airport and Raleigh Durham International Airport. The airline said the large amount of delays could impact flights around the country as well.

As of 2 p.m. EST, Southwest said fewer than 200 of its flights were canceled due to the automation problem.