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New satellite system causes delays at LAX

File: A line of planes waiting to depart from L.A. International Airport.
File: A line of planes waiting to depart from L.A. International Airport.
David McNew/Getty Images

After a new navigation system caused major delays at L.A. International Airport on Monday and Tuesday, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said flight schedules were expected to return to normal over the next few days. 

"It's still not going to be quite normal, but it's going to be pretty normal," Ian Gregor, FAA spokesman, told KPCC. 

The new system, called the SoCal Metroplex project, is intended to "improve the efficiency of the airspace" in Southern California. Similar navigation systems have been successfully installed in other metropolitan areas across the country, according to a FAA statement. 

The delays, which range from 40 minutes to more than an hour, are being caused by the addition of 64 new Southern California routes to a flight procedures system, according to a FAA statement. In order to allow air traffic controllers and pilots to become familiar with the routes, the FAA deliberately slowed the flight schedule down. 

The new program will affect multiple airports in Southern California, including L.A. International Bob Hope, Hawthorne Municipal Airport, Long Beach, Ontario International, Oxnard, Palm Springs International, San Diego International, Santa Monica Municipal, John Wayne-Orange County and Van Nuys airports. 

The new flight procedures are being implemented in three phases. The first was in November 2016, the second was this week and the third will take place at the end of April 2017, Gregor said. 

"It turned out that we have been able to increase the [departure] rates more quickly than we originally anticipated because it seems the pilots and controllers are getting used to using [the new system] at a faster rate than we expected," he said.