Y2K fixes passed test, FAA says

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Y2K fixes passed test, FAA says


WASHINGTON -- After two days of analysis, the Federal Aviation Administration reported yesterday that a weekend test of its Year 2000 computer fixes was successful.

During the four-hour test late Saturday and early Sunday, computers at Denver International Airport were split in half, and the clocks on the test side were rolled forward from an imaginary date of Dec. 31, 1999, to Jan. 1, 2000.

Tapes from both the test system and the live system were then sent to the FAA technical center outside Atlantic City for review.

A preliminary analysis "shows that the performance of the systems on both sides was virtually identical," FAA Administrator Jane Garvey said in a statement. "This indicates to us that air traffic systems on Jan. 1, 2000, will perform just as they did on Dec. 31, 1999."

During the test period, the computers plotted the movement of one plane in particular, United Airlines Flight 2778, which landed at the airport. Data on Flight 2778 from the live and test systems were identical.

-- Norm (nwo@hotmail.com), April 14, 1999


Now this is the real Normy.

-- rick blaine (y2kazoo@hotmail.com), April 14, 1999.

See thread, for broader perspective ...

FAA Has Big Problems With Air Traffic Control System

http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id= 000i8u

Keep on truckin Norm, but dont research. Just BELIEVE everything the newsmedia prints.



-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), April 14, 1999.

Wondering why the FAA chose Denver International Airport to run their testing? Isn't that one of the newest airports in the country? Not sure if it has anything to do with it or not but I would think their computers should be Y2K compliant if they are so new. What about the older airports?

-- shellie (shellie01@hotmail.com), April 14, 1999.

Well, I'm glad that our airlines are compliant. Let's hope our airplanes don't meet any incoming flights from Korea, China, Russia or anywhere else where the y2k compliancy record is not so steller as ours. Happy flying, Norm. Hope you enjoy the friendly skies.

-- Larry Wayne Trapp (lawada@tminet.com), April 14, 1999.

Well, what have we here? Seems to be a fairly comprehensive test of quite a number of different systems, at one airport. Of course there are more test to be run, more systems and airports to be tested. Gotta start somewhere.

And sure enough. We have rick, implying that the test is meaningless because Norm posted the results. Attaboy, rick, eye on the ball.

And we have Diane, implying that the test is meaningless because the FAA is having trouble with another completely unrelated system. This is a very interesting tactic. Hamasaki calls it the "look over there" tactic. Usually, this means when you ask someone if they're compliant they start pointing at others (suppliers, infrastructure, etc.). Diane inverts this -- when someone has hard data showing progess, well, can't have that, so look over there!

And we have shellie, saying the test doesn't count because it only happened in Denver, and Denver airport might be inappropriate. Interestingly, shellie doesn't think Denver is good because it's new and might be compliant, whereas 'a' attacked the choice of Denver because of its problems. Well, doesn't matter, good, bad, who cares so long as these results can be attacked, hey?

And finally we have Larry, who implies the test is meaningless because of the *planes*. Sorry, test not good, didn't use Korean planes.

Four entirely different ways to discredit the facts, all irrelevant but so what? Can't have success even in small ways, I guess.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), April 14, 1999.

Could have as well said "FAA Passes Fixed Y2K Test."

-- (li'ldog@stillontheporch.com), April 14, 1999.


I'd be quite surprised if this 'test' weren't simply a re-enactment of an actual test done earlier and without publicity. The first run was to see if fixes worked, the second to reassure the public. Both purposes are valuable.

When you think about it, a lot had to work right in any case. The actual test necessarily involved a *lot* of systems, very hard to rig. And no reason to do so -- the airport, the airlines and the FAA all want working systems *at least* as much as they want good publicity.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), April 14, 1999.

This is from a March 8, 1999 article. The testimony was less than a week old at the time...



What did an official in the FAA's inspector general's office -- aka an internal auditor -- think?

Alexis Stefani was much less optimistic. Only 31 percent of the agency's computers were completely fixed, she told the committee.

"FAA now faces an additional kind of problem. They're shooting for the end of June to have all of their systems done, but it becomes an implementation [problem]," Stefani said, noting that some systems are scattered around dozens or even hundreds of locations. Technicans have to travel to each of them.


-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), April 14, 1999.


I think the time has come to start digging into what these numbers really mean, rather than simply regurgitating them and viewing them with concern.

OK, 31% of FAA's computers are completely fixed, it says. Does this mean 31% of ALL computers, or mission critical? Does this refer to 31% of the hardware, or the applications? Is this 31% of what needed to be fixed, or does it include things that didn't use dates? How close to completely fixed are those which aren't complete yet? Is there any meaningful pattern to the effort -- is the focus on keeping the planes flying, or on generating reports, or are there any priorities inside FAA at all?

In otherwords, your number could easily describe a total disaster with no hope of flight for a decade, and it could just as easily describe a situation where a few unimportant issues remained in most systems, but air traffic can carry out without anyone ever noticing. And without more information, how can we know where on this spectrum the FAA really stands?

In any case, the FAA better get out there and start implementing pretty damn quick.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), April 14, 1999.

Oh well, one more time... <:)=

From the Statement by Kenneth M. Mead, Inspector General, Department of Transportation, before the Subcommittee on Government Management, Information and Technology, U.S. House of Representatives, on March 15, 1999:

"FAA is facing a unique implementation challenge. The ATC system fixes, after being operated in test-center environments, have to be installed at multiple sites throughout the system. For example, the Terminal Doppler Weather Radar system provides detection of weather events such as wind shear and microbursts. FAA renovated the computer used to support this system, and has to install it at 47 sites. Implementing repairs into the real operational environment has risk due to potential complications resulting from local adaptations to ATC systems (changes made by local technicians). In the past, FAA has encountered problems installing test-center solutions at locations throughout the ATC system due to local changes.

FAA has 21 of the 65 ATC systems that have been fixed, tested, and installed at field sites. The remaining 44 systems are the most complex, and have to be installed at about 3,000 field sites"

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), April 14, 1999.


That's a good point, but this is what I thought you would have chosen to make an issue of:


WASHINGTON -- After two days of analysis, the Federal Aviation Administration reported yesterday that a weekend test of its Year 2000 computer fixes was successful.


A preliminary analysis "shows that the performance of the systems on both sides was virtually identical," FAA Administrator Jane Garvey said in a statement. "This indicates to us that air traffic systems on Jan. 1, 2000, will perform just as they did on Dec. 31, 1999."


Since there is no reference in Norm's article to systems still needing Y2K repairs, the strong inference is that the FAA in now Y2K compliant. The first thing I thought when I saw the title of Norm's article was, how can Y2K fixes pass a test when many of the fixes haven't been made yet?

Sure, this is only about Denver International Airport, but I believe many people would think it refers to the FAA in general, especially since there is no mention of the Y2K fixes the FAA still needs to make.

I try to contribute information without putting a Gary North type of spin on it. I will editorialize more in the future, though, if you think it's necessary.

-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), April 14, 1999.


I agree 100%. This is one of my biggest problems with this type of story. J. Q. Public reads this headline, or the "NERC Y2K drill successful" headline, and figures the problem is solved. They are not being told the whole story. Most people don't bother to look at the details, or spend time researching the problem, I think partly because of the rosey pictures being painted by the media. It just ain't right. <:)=

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), April 14, 1999.

Kevin and Sysman:

I guess I have to agree with you. I read this article and my reaction was "good. Some systems are working at the Denver airport." I certainly didn't read that all systems were working at all airports, because that's not what the article said.

If you're right, and people read what wasn't said and draw conclusions based on what they didn't read, it can be misleading. And from my time on this forum, I can see that almost everyone here often takes strong issue with things that really weren't said, because they read what they wanted to read.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), April 14, 1999.

Uh Flint.

Do you call hard data a press release or a Denver newsmedia story?


Wed welcome good news ... accompanied by massive details.


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), April 15, 1999.

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