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 BabbitttoldFederal 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.
Robert N. Charette is a Contributing Editor to IEEE Spectrum and an acknowledged international authority on information technology and systems risk management. A self-described “risk ecologist,” he is interested in the intersections of business, political, technological, and societal risks. Charette is an award-winning author of multiple books and numerous articles on the subjects of risk management, project and program management, innovation, and entrepreneurship. A Life Senior Member of the IEEE, Charette was a recipient of the IEEE Computer Society’s Golden Core Award in 2008.