(adding more from interviews, background)
WASHINGTON, January 30 (Reuters) –
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said Monday that the government will “pick up the pace” on efforts to modernize aviation computer systems after an outage in a pilot messaging database forced a nationwide ground stop on Jan. 11. Said it was necessary.
Buttigieg said in an interview with Reuters that the Joe Biden administration plans to ask Congress for “the resources needed to accelerate these system changes” at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). It said it was important to look beyond the recent outages that disrupted more flights.
“The broader context is aging systems and increasing demand. I don’t want ”
Last week, the FAA announced to members of Congress that it had disabled access to its pilot message database by contractor personnel who were forced to make a nationwide ground stop for the first time since the September 11, 2001 attacks.
“We are working to ensure that we can accelerate the modernization of NOTAM, but what we really need is to speed up the pace of modernization of the FAA at scale, down to the backbone of how data moves. “This is clearly a work in progress through multiple administrations. It’s not going to happen overnight.”
The FAA told U.S. lawmakers in a letter first reported by Reuters that it had adopted new safeguards to prevent subsequent suspensions. This includes delaying database synchronization by an hour to prevent data errors from reaching the backup database too soon. Buttigieg said he was “sure to have identified the specific sequence of events that led to this specific issue” that led to the ground halt.
The NOTAM system provides important safety notices to pilots, crew members, and other users of US airspace.
The NOTAM system consists of two interdependent systems. The 30-year-old legacy US NOTAM system and the new Federal NOTAM system.
The FAA will begin modernizing the NOTAM system in 2019, stating, “We plan to retire the legacy U.S. NOTAM system by mid-2025. Phase 2 of the NOTAM system modernization is expected to be completed in 2030.” The FAA letter states:
Buttigieg said the FAA is wary of making major changes to systems that have been pieced together for decades, but it has an excellent safety record.
Since February 2009, there has been only one US airliner crash.
“The problem is how to keep the baby from being thrown out with the bath water,” said Buttigieg. (Reporting by David Shepherdson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and David Gregorio)