FAA officials made a last-minute Y2K “patch” today to the HOCSR computers in the 21 enroute air traffic control centers. The patch corrects what FAA officials describe as a very minor software glitch.
The HOCSR (Host and Oceanic Computer System Replacement equipment) process and display radar, flight plan, and tracking data on controllers’ scopes. If one piece of hardware, the Direct Access Storage Device, happened to fail at exactly the same time as the Y2K rollover (0000 UTC or 7 p.m. EST), the host computer could reset. That could have caused radar data blocks to disappear from controllers’ screens for about 10 seconds.
“It would have taken an extraordinary rare combination of events, about a one in a million chance, for this glitch to have occurred,” an FAA official told AOPA.
Another knowledgeable source inside FAA air traffic control operations told AOPA the problem was fixed, and there was “nothing to be concerned about.”
AOPA is continuing to monitor the situation and will report any known Y2K problems on the AOPA Online home page.
December 30, 1999