US Air Traffic Control System Outage Last Month Helped Along By Human Error

Last month I blogged about the massive disruption of air traffic in the US caused by an air traffic control computer outage. Some 819 flights were delayed.

The outage - and irritation in the US Congress that was created by this second outage in a little over a year - sparked the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to launch an independent panel to look into its cause, and find out why the back-up system didn't kick in.

The preliminary finding of the panel confirmed that a faulty circuit board in a router caused the outage. However, as FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt told Federal News Radio,

"We had a router being replaced, routinely, in an upgrade situation. While during the installation, they turned one of the warning systems off and didn't turn it back on."


Administrator Babbitt promises that it won't happen again.


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Robert Charette
Spotsylvania, Va.
Willie D. Jones
New York City