Our airspace system went straight to hell this week, causing major delays nationwide, reports CNN and others:
"Every major airport in the United States was experiencing flight delays Tuesday afternoon because of a communications breakdown at a Federal Aviation Administration facility, the administration said. Flights at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport were delayed Tuesday afternoon. The facility south of Atlanta is having problems processing data, requiring that all flight-plan information be processed through a facility in Salt Lake City, Utah. On the FAA's Web site, delays were being reported at all 40 airports located on the administration's flight information map." [see image at top right of his post]The administration said there have been no radar outages and they have not lost contact with any planes. Reuters is reporting the total number of flights affected as 5,825. A major weather system – remnants of Tropical Storm Fay – is also pounding ATL, adding to the misery of 1,000s of travelers.
CNN says "The problem appeared similar to a June 8, 2007, computer glitch that caused severe flight delays and some cancellations along the East Coast." I say, dump whatever Windows-based system the FAA is using and get a couple of hundred Macs. Not only will they have little to no major failures like this, all the pretty pictures the FAA people look at will be beautiful.
I am joking of course about the Macs, because we all know Macs are just for kids to listen to music on...and Windows boxes are BIG and POWERFUL and...oh wait, they crashed again. Damn.
UPDATE @ 2P on 08.27.08: I just got this money quote from a controller who shall remain anonymous: "Windows? Heck we're still running MS-DOS 5.0 on one of the systems at the Tower/TRACON where I work!!"