FAA news conference (noon, 6/30): "We're Compliant! ?"

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Heard this morning that the FAA will hold a news conference (from Hartsfield, Atlanta's airport) declaring themselves completely through, and fully compliant.

More later. Don't know what specific words they will use.

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), June 30, 1999


Well that ought to be interesting, I live less than fifteen miles from Hartsfield Intl.

-- (AtlantaAS@aol.com), June 30, 1999.

On June 2, the Atlanta Journal & Constitution reported that the FAA was 92% compliant. Just 28 days later, they will state they are now fully compliant.

Some things are just too bizarre to even comment on...

-- Roland (nottelling@nohwere.com), June 30, 1999.

One of the local news radio stations has asked me to fax them a series or questions (or comments/background info) that they can ask or use later for reporting.

If you ever wanted to "talk" to the FAA, here is a chance, but be quick.

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), June 30, 1999.

My only question (having been in the aviation industry for 15 years) is:

Who is responsible for being compliant and signing off on the reports?

In other words, who is it exactly that puts his/her signature on the bottom line of the Y2K compliancy reports?

That way I'll know who to badger later if problems arise. The old CYA routine always leaves someone with their butt hanging in the wind, I'm curious as to who has been appointed the "fall guy(s)/gal (s)".

-- (AtlantaAS@aol.com), June 30, 1999.

Ask them to prove it!

-- J (jart5@bellsouth.net), June 30, 1999.

Does this mean 'all systems' are compliant or that just 'mission- critical' systems are compliant?

To what extent have their data exchanges with non-FAA entities been tested and validated?

What contingency plans have been establish in the 'highly unlikely' event that remediation has not been thorough enough?

-- Arnie Rimmer (Arnie_Rimmer@usa.net), June 30, 1999.

Do their contingency plans cover fuel availability? Has there been independent verification of their compliance? What "non-mission critical systems" have yet to be remediated?

-- ariZONEa (safe_to_fly@not.com), June 30, 1999.

Quite simply...define your version of "compliant".

ALL mission critical systems installed and functioning properly?

ALL data exchanges tested & in place?

Nothing left to do except contingeny planning & non-mission critical work?

BTW, it's pretty pathetic that the media has to ask what questions to ask...


-- Roland (nottelling@nowhere.com), June 30, 1999.

Is the FAA willing to place every family member and friend on planes for the rollover? How about the whole Congress? Supreme Court Justices? Troy Aikman?

-- lisa (lisa@work.now), June 30, 1999.

Are the Air Traffic Controller's and Association CONVINCED they're compliant?

They are the one's who have to deal with the equipment and the problems. Like the computer "glitches" that delayed air traffic last week.

Isn't today just the deadline for when they're supposed to "say" they are compliant? Saying it, doesn't make it so.


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), June 30, 1999.

Posted at 6:44 p.m. EDT Monday, June 28, 1999 Email this story to a friend Charlotte Observer Radar outage in Atlanta delay flights in Southeast By TED REED Staff Writer

A radar outage in the Federal Aviation Administration's Atlanta flight center combined with bad weather Monday to delay dozens of flights throughout the Southeast.

At 3 p.m., 30 US Airways flights -- about one third of the flights scheduled for takeoff from Charlotte/Douglas International Airport at that hour -- were reporting delays, frustrating hundreds of passengers.

``I was stuck on the runway for two hours and 45 minutes at LaGuardia,'' said Tony Graffeo, senior vice president of Empire Insurance Group in Brooklyn. ``Then I got here for my flight to Columbia, and now it's delayed.

``I'm hot, and I'm tired,'' Graffeo said. ``I don't see how radar in Atlanta can affect the whole East Coast. You'd think they'd have backup after backup after backup.''

An FAA spokeswoman did not return phone calls. George Robinette, deputy aviation director in Charlotte, said a computer malfunction caused the Atlanta flight center, which oversees Charlotte flights, to rely on a less capable backup system. As a result, air traffic controllers required more spacing between flights, causing delays.

Spokesmen for Delta Air Lines and US Airways, the two principal airlines serving the Southeast, both said the radar outage and thunderstorms resulted in an increased number of delays on Monday.

Because planes are tightly scheduled, the effect of delays reverberates throughout the system.

In addition, US Airways operations were slowed over the weekend and on Monday by a shortage of dispatchers. ``We're short-staffed, which is causing an impact,'' said Don Wright, president of Local 545 of the Transport Workers Union.

The dispatchers are in contract negotiations, but Wright said the union is not staging a work slowdown.


-- KLT (KLTEVC@aol.com), June 30, 1999.


::BTW, it's pretty pathetic that the media has to ask what questions to ask...

Reporters are not doctors, lawyers, programmers, aircraft controllers or refinery technicians. Some may specialize in a given field, but by and large they have to rely on what 'experts' say in order to do their jobs (ie. write a story).

This is why you've seen so much contradictory Y2K coverage (disconnect). They just aren't qualified to make an assesment about a given industries Y2K Compliant/Ready/Capable/Aware Status. If they were qualified to make such an assesment, they'd probably be working in those industries and getting paid a whole lot more than they are as reporters.


-- TECh32 (TECH32@NOMAIL.COM), June 30, 1999.

Well thank God for "in depth-team coverage" reports.

Channel 2 and 9, local Atlanta News stations spent a total of about twenty seconds reporting the Y2K compliancy. Mayor Bill plans to be in the air on New Years.

Channel 9 mentioned that what they didn't know is whether the rest of the International Airports would be ready as well.

Well gee, what a relief. That twenty seconds makes me feel "alot" better.

-- (AtlantaAS@aol.com), June 30, 1999.


Your questions remind me of an SF story about a civilization that discovered that its sun would soon go nova.

Unlike our society's reaction to Y2K, a massive, civilization wide effort was mounted to build a fleet of spacecraft to move everyone out of the affected star system.

The construction was planned and carried out in three phases. After completion of the first group of ships, all the "leaders" (the pols, the lawyers, the CEOs,) were sent off (hopefully) to safety and the second phase was begun.

When the second group of ships was completed, the next tier of "important" folks were sent off. This group consisted of the bankers, salesmen, and so on.

All that was left was the folks who got dirt under their fingernails and made the civilization function. The plumbers and secretaries and mail carriers and garbagemen, and, of course, the ship builders.

The third wave of ships was never constructed however. It seems that the scientists had perpetuated a ruse on everyone else in order to "clean up" the society and the first two groups of ships were actually on a collision course with the system's sun, which was, of course, in no immediate danger of going nova.

I'm afraid that Y2K is not a ruse though, and the "movers and shakers" who claim that they will be flying have yet to actually do so.

TECH 32,

Your point about reporters' qualifications (or the lack of them) is an excellent one. We would all do well to keep it in mind as we evaluate what we see in the media.

Tom Lehrer said, "I think that if you don't know what you're talking about, the very least that you can do is to SHUT UP!"

Perhaps that sentiment has something to do with the media's much discussed "silence" on Y2K issues.

-- Hardliner (searcher@internet.com), June 30, 1999.

Anyone seen/heard any updates on this story?

As Churchill once said, "This is their finest hour." The FAA was going to be completely through today, right?

Actually, careful reading of past threads indicates that the FAA (nationally) was going to declare themselves compliant today, then use the "rest of the year" for testing. Which would be be a bit different that the rest of the world, which prefers to declare themselves through _after testing_ (rather than before), but the FAA has several times _forcefully_ declared it finished testing in March. (This happened last week when several airlines claimed flight delays were due to "the FAA testing problems for Y2K."

Obviously, there is nothing left to test. Even when the FAA did their first flight tests on April 9. Or did systems testing in May and June. Maybe the FAA is using a different schedule (calendar ?) than everybody else too.

Which is, of course, would be why they can finished testing "everything in March." But do the first operations using that "tested" system in April. Install the first system using the new program in May. Put those systems in operation on real airline flights, then slow down the operations at each airport so they can start training the users during the first week June - at one site at a time. Declare themselves nationally compliant June 30 while their old systems at all the unremediated sites are still failing to work properly on July 1.

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), June 30, 1999.

Will wonders ever cease? These from the "mainstream media" (Newsweek, July 5, Periscope section, pg 6)

May 5 - Chicago - New Y2K-compliant software crashes at major radar center for 50 minutes.

May 6 - New York center - printer software problems shuts down main computer for 45 minutes.

May 19 - New York Center - Computers replacing obsolete machines fial. Outage: 67 minutes.

June 22 - Minneapolis: 100 incoming flights elayed due to memory failure or faulty plugs.

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), July 01, 1999.

But from Rueters, "...all is complete..."

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday it had completed all Year 2000 work on its computers but would wait for independent verification before popping the champagne.

``Preliminary indications are that all systems are complete,'' said Paul Takemoto, spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

FAA, which oversees U.S. navigable airspace, said it met its own June 30 deadline after missing a federal government target of March 31 for all departments to have systems repaired, tested and back in service.

The work must be reviewed by FAA's outside contractor, Science Applications International Corp., and the Department of Transportation's Inspector General.

If success is confirmed, the FAA will have defied doomsday predictions made just last year that the agency would fail to be ready and flights would be disrupted by the Year 2000 computer problem.

Often referred to as the Y2K problem, the computer bug arises because many older computers and their software allocated only two digits for the year in dates. If not corrected or replaced, these systems have the potential to mistake the year 2000 for 1900, causing systems to spew out bad data or stop working come the end of 1999.

A comprehensive test of air traffic computer repairs in Colorado in April was declared a success. _________

But - Paul Takemoto was also the spokesman who claimed the airlines were lying when the airlines (in June) said Y2K problems were causing delays: at that time, he also claimed "all of the testing was finished in March."

Guess that means even the limited scope, limited function test on April 9 in Denver wasn't a test. (On the other hand, that might be considered "true" by some with skeptical minds.)

Or maybe nothing has been tested since March. (That could also be true.)

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), July 01, 1999.

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