FAA Report Status of Y2K Readiness

Airlines, airports are evaluated in national and local aviation report

Airlines, airports, and federal aviation officials from the Southern California have reported the status of their readiness for computer Y2K. Officials reported that the Aviation Millennium Project, a two-year, $16 million program, has been working with more than 100 airlines, 500 airports, hundreds of aircraft and equipment manufacturers and suppliers, and the federal air traffic control system to address the Y2K challenge.

At a press conference at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), national and local officials from Los Angeles World Airports (which owns and operates LAX, Ontario International, Van Nuys, and Palmdale Regional Airports); the Air Transport Association representing major U.S. air carriers; the Federal Aviation Administration; United Airlines; and the Boeing Company described their respective Y2K readiness efforts.

Lydia Kennard, interim executive director of Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), reported that LAWA has been working on Y2K efforts since 1996, and that a management project team has been spearheading efforts at the four airports since 1998.

"Los Angeles World Airports is spending approximately $15 million in its Y2K efforts," said Kennard. "The main focus of our efforts are the airports' `mission critical' systems. Our goal is to make January 1 like any other day when passengers and visitors come to our airports."

LAWA's "mission critical" systems include airfield (runway and taxiway) lighting/signage; back-up power generators; alarm and dispatch for fire, police, and other emergencies; emergency and safety vehicles; phone, radio, and paging communications; parking lot lighting; and video surveillance. Contingency plans for these critical systems also have been developed.

Thomas Browne, executive director of the Aviation Millennium Project at the Air Transport Association, said, "The airline industry is in great shape and we are ready for the new millennium. Today, we're pleased to be able to say, with confidence, that air travel on January 1, 2000, will be as reliable and as safe as it is today."

According to Browne, U.S. and Canadian airlines have spent more than $750 million testing aircraft, flight-support computers, navigational instruments, and other critical in-flight systems. On the ground at the airport locations, airlines have identified more than 120 systems, including ticketing systems at ticket counters, baggage systems, and ground service vehicles, and have gathered information on their Y2K status.

Browne reported that airlines are spending $2.3 billion worldwide to bring their systems into Y2K compliance, and that the Aviation Millennium Project has been working with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to gather data on airports and air traffic service providers around the world.

Bill Withycombe, administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration's Western-Pacific Region, said, "The FAA has completed its Year 2000 renovation and testing on the air traffic control system throughout the United States. In Southern California alone, this includes navigation systems serving 14 commercial passenger airports, 20 general aviation (charters and private aircraft) airports, Southern California Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) facility, and the Los Angeles Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC).

Rick Juster, Y2K Project Director of United Airlines, said, "United has the people and processes in place to be Y2K ready. We've done multiple tests on systems, including a ground-to-air radio test and a flight-planning test with the FAA." United is the busiest passenger and second busiest air cargo airline operating at LAX.

Source: Los Angeles World Airports Press Release

DATE: 10/12/99


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