Update on FAA air traffic control systems

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I believe one of the major issues has been whether the replacement ATC systems can handle the same volume of traffic. I don't see that discussed in this article. It also doesn't discuss when the replacement system will be installed at these 371 facilities.

FAA and Raytheon Successfully Complete Year 2000 Validation Testing Of the STARS Early Display Configuration Software

LEXINGTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 23, 1999--Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTNA - news; NYSE:RTNB - news) announced today the successful completion of Raytheon's Year 2000 (Y2K) Joint Validation Testing of the Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System (STARS) Early Display Configuration (EDC) at Raytheon's Marlborough, Mass., facility.

Completion of this Y2K test milestone is another key step consistent with successful deployment of the STARS system. The initial operational sites are scheduled for El Paso, Texas and Syracuse, N.Y. later this year.

A substantial part of the EDC Y2K Validation Test consisted of ensuring that all of the major functionality designed into the EDC system for STARS was tested before, during, and after the millennium and Y2K leap year rollover dates. This formal, FAA- witnessed testing consisted of more than 1,300 procedural test steps and 30 discrete rollovers of Y2K date testing. Raytheon and the FAA reported that the system passed 100 percent of all tested steps.

``The recent joint FAA/Raytheon Y2K validation testing of the EDC software clearly demonstrates Raytheon's STARS software is ready for use in the next millennium,'' said Bill Voss, FAA Director of Air Traffic Systems Development.

STARS is the state-of-the-art air traffic control system for the next century and will replace the computer and display systems in 172 FAA Terminal radar approach control (TRACON) facilities and up to 199 Department of Defense facilities throughout the country.

Raytheon Company, based in Lexington, Mass., is a global technology leader that provides products and services in the areas of commercial and defense electronics, engineering and construction, and business and special mission aircraft. Raytheon has operations throughout the United States and serves customers in more than 80 countries around the world.

-- Brooks (brooksbie@hotmail.com), July 23, 1999


Well well does this cut y2k from a 10 down a bit? Or does it not matter much what the FAA does?

-- Rooster Cogburn (Gotitlate@wow.com), July 23, 1999.

I'm not quite sure how you mean that, Rooster. The FAA just claimed 100% compliance. I don't know how that is possible with so much critical equipment left to be installed, and then tested in place.

-- Brooks (brooksbie@hotmail.com), July 23, 1999.

I'm sorry, but I keep seeing "future perfect" tense here:

"...will replace the computer and display systems in 172 FAA..."

"The initial operational sites are scheduled for El Paso, Texas and Syracuse, N.Y. later this year."

Also, no mention of outside verification of the testing.

I'm sorry, I know this will make me look like a "doomer", but this is all crap.

Everything is STILL in the future, and until it's up and running at Atlanta and O'Hare, I'm a non-believer.


-- Jollyprez (jolly@prez.com), July 23, 1999.

Also see this thread:


"FAA: All Systems Y2K-Compliant (Federal Computer Week)"

It's good news if it's true...

-- Linkmeister (link@librarian.edu), July 23, 1999.

Rooster - just to remind you here - this reports (in glowing terms) the results of a series of tests for FUTURE installations. (The tests, by the way, did apparently veify that the equipment they WILL install in the future will run ONCE it is installed.

In other words, good, but so what?

These units WILL NOT be installed in time to control air traffic in January 2000. It nice to know that, after they get installed and become operational, they will actually run next year, and in years beyond, but - this report has nothing to do with air traffic on January 1, 2, 3, ...

HOWEVER - I do notice that they (and you) are trying to spin it that way. They, being Raytheon - (wow - what a nice ad copy for Raytheon), FAA, and you. ___

Aside, I dislike capitals (in general), but the tone of your question here seemed to require a rather "blunt" and direct reply. To repeat, this means nothing with respect to air traffic in January. Perhaps these units will be operational (country wide) in May or July next year - we shall see. At that time, we hope that they will continue to operate as promised.

Also, the slowdown caused at several airports when other "new" equipment was installed earlier this year - and subsequently had to be removed because it couldn't handle the load - was not addressed in this report. But then again, I would not expect it to be.

-- Robert A Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), July 23, 1999.

I'm confused. Wasn't there a post a while back that said that IBM said the old system could not be remediated to make it Y2K compliant? Now the FAA says they are compliant but they are installing a new system that is tested and validated (does this mean compliant?) but will not be installed until later this year and it doesn't sound like it is too promising to be installed systemwide before the rollover, let alone tested. And, if indeed the new sytem is installed in some places but not all places, will the two systems work together on a remediated plane's systems? That said, I think you better check out your pilots quals and make sure he is IFR qualified - you know, as in "I Follow the Road".

-- Valkyrie (anon@please.net), July 23, 1999.

Well, I sure hope they got this STAR system to go faster than it was operating a few months ago!!!!


A new $2.2 billion computer system that's supposed to modernize the nation's aging air traffic control network is so slow in tests that tasks take at least twice as long as on the old equipment.

Until it is fixed, the computer system is unsuitable for use at the nation's busiest facilities where it is needed most, Federal Aviation Administration officials say.

In FAA tests last month [March '99], the system, called STARS, was two to three times slower in displaying aircraft radar positions and responding to air traffic controllers' commands, according to a report obtained by USA TODAY ...

FAA Administrator Jane Garvey is expected to announce the future of STARS this month, but the test results make delays more likely ...

The upgrade is one of the biggest modernization projects under way in the nation's air traffic control system ...

-- Cheryl (Transplant@Oregon.com), July 24, 1999.

It's compliant, but it is not yet fully 'installed and running'. Do you suppose these folks actually don't know what the meaning of compliance is? If you believe that, then you are going to force me to sell you a bridge in Brooklyn.

-- OR (orwelliator@biosys.net), July 25, 1999.

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