FAA has struggled to modernize computer, air traffic operations

Jan. 13, 2023
The 90-minute halt was caused by a problem with an alerting system that sends safety messages for pilots and others, David Shepardson reports for Reuters.

WASHINGTON - The breakdown of a key computer system, which resulted in the suspension of U.S. flight departures on Wednesday, is not the first such issue to hinder Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) operations, and happened amid efforts to upgrade technology, David Shepardson reports for ReutersContinue reading original article.

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

13 January 2023 - Reuters' Shepardson notes that "The FAA has struggled to modernize some long-standing parts of air traffic control. A 2021 Transportation Department Office of Inspection General (OIG) report repeatedly cited challenges in the FAA's multi-billion dollar Next Generation Air Transportation System (Next) infrastructure project."

The OIG said its work "has shown that FAA has struggled to integrate key NextGen technologies and capabilities due to extended program delays that caused ripple effect delays with other programs."

The FAA has been tasked with updating the technology used to track aircraft. For example, the agency is working to end controllers using paper strips to keep track of aircraft. The FAA says these changes will take until 2029 to be adopted at 49 major airports. The updates will be enabled by a $5 billion package included in the 2022 infrastucture package.

Related: United blames FAA’s control system for snarling U.S. aviation

Related: FAA nudges pilots on 'see and avoid'

Related: FAA giving airlines another year to fix altimeters that can’t handle 5G signals

Jamie Whitney, Associate Editor
Military + Aerospace Electronics

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