Fixes should be in place by July : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Fixes should be in place by July


If anyone is wise in the ways of travel - including knowing whether you should plan to fly on Jan. 1, 2000 - it ought to be John Mullen, founder and president of Apple Vacations. His Newtown Square, Pa., company is one of the nation's biggest sellers of airline-and-hotel package trips for winter-weary travelers.

So, just how worried is Mullen about the safety of flying on a day when some computers, plagued by the Year 2000 bug, may think it's three years before the Wright Brothers' pioneering flight at Kitty Hawk?

"We're more concerned about hotels charging high rates for millennium packages," Mullen said. "We think there is going to be a fear factor, people worried about flying on Jan. 1, and many people may just stay home. We're operating, and we're going to put out flights on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. But a lot of people may choose to come home from holiday trips on Jan. 2 or 3."

Air traffic controllers at the Gulfport-Biloxi Regional Airport expect no delays or problems on Dec. 31.

"We are Y2K compliant. We did check all our systems and upgraded all those that needed upgrading," said air traffic manager Max Peck with the Federal Aviation Administration in Gulfport.

"We're pretty confident that we're in good shape."

All FAA operations will be Y2K compliant by the end of the month, said Peck.

Even if some computer glitches are not caught, air traffic controllers in Gulfport will be able to keep travelers safe.

"We have contingency plans and backup plans and redundancy plans for most any situation," Peck said.

The confidence shared by Peck and Mullen is also shared by many people in the airline business and those charged with the safe operation of airports and the air-traffic control system.

Airlines will not fly if there is any question that safety could be compromised by major problems in an airplane's flight-critical computers or in the air-traffic system, industry officials say. And they say they're confident that major failures are highly unlikely.

One key test of the fixes already made in airline computer-reservations systems came in February. Feb. 4 had been a scary date for the industry for years, because it was 331 days before Jan. 1, 2000, and the first day the systems would accept reservations for flights next year.

But the day came and went with no problems, the airlines said.

"There's so much money and time being spent on Y2K that it's hard for me to believe any critical or even noncritical system won't be ready," said Tom Browne, executive director of the Y2K program at the Air Transport Association in Washington, which represents major U.S. airlines.

Still, that is not to say that every baggage conveyor belt, bank ATM and coffee-shop cash register at every airport worldwide, as well as every traffic light on roads leading into those airports, also is going to be working perfectly on Jan. 1.

The largest U.S. airlines, which operate some of the world's biggest computer systems, have had hundreds of people working on Y2K issues since 1995 and expect to have all fixes in place by this summer, if not sooner.

Aircraft manufacturers say they have been thinking about Y2K issues even longer than the airlines and have been installing Y2K-compliant computers in new planes since the early 1990s.

The FAA, which runs the nation's air-traffic control system, began working on the problem in the mid-1990s, and the vast majority of the needed fixes have been completed, said Jim Peters, a spokesman for the agency's Northeast region.

Even if there were a failure of a major FAA computer on Jan. 1, it might mean delays for flights, but air traffic could still be routed about the country without compromising safety, he added.

-- Norm (, March 24, 1999


yessiree... the "vast majority" of those FAA fixes have been completed... 31% according to an FAA auditor, per a recent Declan story... and last September 30, it was 99%... and later 65%... ohhhh yeahhhh...

-- Drew Parkhill/CBN News (y2k@cbn.og), March 24, 1999.

Hey Norm, is your last name Koskinen by any chance?

-- rick blaine (, March 24, 1999.

Gad, Knight-Ridder Newspapers strikes again. When your CIO is convinced that Y2K is nothing but hype , every day is a "Y2K Good News Day". I'm sure that David Starr sent Mr. Belden a nice little e-gram about this story...

-- Mac (, March 24, 1999.

Good afternoon Norm. Here's a few snips from a GAO report to the US House. <:)=

Self-Reported Data Show FAA Still Has Much To Do

While the government-wide deadline for completing systems implementation is at the end of this month, FAAs self-reported data demonstrate that much work remains to be done in a limited amount of time. Specifically, FAA must still finish implementing 141 mission-critical systems. Figure 1 details the overall reported status of FAAs mission-critical systems as of March 8, 1999.


FAAs Year 2000 Efforts Face Significant Challenges FAA faces several challenges in completing its Year 2000 activities. These challenges include

ensuring that systems validation efforts are adequate,

implementing multiple systems at numerous facilities,

completing data exchange efforts, and

completing end-to-end testing.


Because of shortcomings in the source code analysis, testing, and vendor certification of the UNIVAC processors Year 2000 compliance, FAAs validation of the ARTS-IIIA system may be premature.


The Number of FAA Air Traffic Control Facilities Complicates Systems Implementation

FAAs ability to implement system repairs and replacements in a timely manner is complicated by the agencys highly decentralized nationwide configuration of air traffic control facilities. FAA intends to deploy about 75 mission-critical air traffic control systems to one or more of its roughly 654 air traffic facilities. Concurrently rolling out numerous systems changes to multiple sites will be time-consuming, labor-intensive, and filled with difficult implementation challenges.

-- Sysman (, March 24, 1999.

Ok Norm,

I can't resist. Do you, or have you ever worked in the software industry?

I doubt it. If you had, you'd know that:

1) Nothing ships on time. 2) The first release is always *very* buggy.

If you understand nothing else, you might be a little less happy- faced.

Jolly has shipped LOTS of software

-- Jollyprez (, March 24, 1999.

hey norm... check this out

who do you believe more this guy or the GAO??? Is it in this guy's best interest to paint a happy face???

last sept 29 faa spokesman said they would be 99% compliant the next day.. they lied.. how easily everyone forgets!!!

just go ahead and check out this too this gives a whole timeline of the faa lies..

I am not able to paint much of a happy face... even though I would love to...

notice i made no personal attacks on anyone... i expect the same from each of you

-- gary (, March 24, 1999.

"Fixes should be in place by July"

hmmm...what happened to "Fixes should be in place by December 98" and "Fixes should be in place by March 99"...and "a year for testing"

huh Norm? I can see your post in July now:

"Fixes should be in place by January"

-- a (a@a.a), March 24, 1999.

"We are Y2K compliant. We did check all our systems and upgraded all those that needed upgrading," said air traffic manager Max Peck with the Federal Aviation Administration in Gulfport. "

Max you still have testing to complete, check in regularly with your programmers, if you can still manage to do so.

-- -MC (, March 24, 1999.

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