ATC under fire

A breakdown of the FAA computers Nov. 19 brought severe criticism from members of Congress, FAA unions, and others. For the second time in just more than a year, the air traffic computer system went down and brought about massive delays for airlines, general aviation flights under instrument flight rules, and other actions that require transfer of data. With one small circuit in the computer going out, all information had to be typed in by hand.

Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.), chairman of the full Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Ill.), chairman of the aviation subcommittee, asked the Inspector General of the Department of Transportation to investigate the system where the failure occurred and to report in 60 days.

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