Tag Archives: NADIN

FAA’s troubled flight-plan system: an IT perspective

The corporate IT magazine ‘Baseline’ has a sprawling, somewhat uneven, but nonetheless fascinating article related to the spectacular August 26th system failure of the National Airspace Data Interchange Network (NADIN) site in Atlanta. One interesting tidbit: the existing mainframe hardware — in use continuously since 1988 — was actually first manufactured in the 1960s and later upgraded in 1981.
There’s also a fairly technical discussion about security, which — while mostly over our head — is relevant given that the article characterizes the “corrupt file” that apparently caused the August failure as a virus.

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System failure delays ‘hundreds’ of flights

Reuters reports schedules are returning to normal after Tuesday’s 4.5-hour system failure of the in Hampton, GA.

The cause of the failure was not known but it was not due to a computer hacking attack, said Hank Krakowski, chief operations officer for the FAA’s air traffic division.

“It appears to be an internal software processing problem. We’re going to have to do some forensics on it,” he told reporters in a conference call.

Flight plans include information like the type of aircraft, destination and number of passengers.

The other flight-plan facility in Salt Lake City had to handle the entire country when the Atlanta system failed but the backup system quickly overloaded, [FAA spokeswoman Laura] Brown said.

“So what we had to do was dump all of the flight plan information that was in the system and then manually enter the people who were waiting to take off,” she said. “That’s what created the ripple effect throughout the system and created the delays that we had.”

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