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  • Teeth-gnashing continues over ATC problem
    Posted by Adrian Schofield 6:40 PM on Dec 08, 2009

    The fallout continues from an ATC problem last month that caused nationwide flight delays. FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt is now ordering an independent review panel to examine the Nov. 19 outage of the FAA Telecommunications Infrastructure (FTI) system.

    According to this release, the panel will release two reports early next year – one on the incident itself and what immediate changes are needed, and the other will be a much wider look at the FTI program.  “Last month’s outage was unacceptable and we need to understand what happened and make certain it doesn’t happen again,” said Babbitt. “This panel is going to take a hard look at every part of the FTI operation.”

    In a nutshell, the four-hour FTI outage did not affect any critical surveillance or aircraft communications. However, it resulted in some FAA systems being offline, including flight plan data processing. The FTI problem was traced to a faulty router that was installed as part of an upgrade.

    If you want the best description of what actually happened, here is a link to a video interview with FAA Chief Operating Officer Hank Krakowski. He starts talking about the FTI problem at about 3 min. 30 sec. into the webcast. This is the most detail I have heard FAA reveal about the incident.

    Tags: tw99, FAA, Babbitt, Krakowski

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