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Category: 

Shipping_and_Transportation

Date: 

1998-04-22 08:06:34

Subject: 

Denver Airport Is Not Compliant

  Link:

http://www.amcity.com/denver/stories/042098/story1.html

Comment: 

The multibillion dollar Denver airport is not compliant. Not that it matters; with the FAA not compliant, who will be flying in 2000?

The repair team is in the assessment phase. According to the California White Paper, awareness is 1%; inventory is 1%; assessment is 5%. This means that they have over 90% of the project ahead of them: code remediation and testing, plus repairing any problems found in testing.

Forget it. The Denver airport gone.

This is from the DENVER BUSINESS JOURNAL (April 20).

* * * * * * * *

Denver International Airport has been billed as the airport for the 21st century. But it appears that billions of dollars in expenditures didn't include Year 2000 compliance. . . .

"It's certainly surprising that the airport wasn't designed with the year 2000 in mind," said Paul Dempsey, director of the transportation law program at the University of Denver. "The planning of DIA was from the outset focused on trying to assimilate cutting-edge technology in every sector of the airport. Given that fact, it is remarkable that the year 2000 was overlooked."

"I think this shows an appalling lack of planning," said Michael Boyd, president of the Boyd Group, an Evergreen-based aviation forecasting research firm. "I would have thought the one thing they could have done right at DIA was 2000 compliance. After all, the plan was to build the airport for the 21st century." . . .

The airport has established a Century 2000 Project task force that meets weekly and includes representatives from the airport's information systems department, along with individual airlines and other DIA personnel. The team has been working on the project for more than a year and divided its attack into five phases: awareness, assessment, renovation, validation and implementation.

"Right now we're in phase two, the assessment stage," said Chuck Cannon, director of public affairs at Denver International Airport, which opened in February 1995. "That's where we inventory our hardware, software and embedded systems and contact the vendors to see if they are compliant." . . .

The team at DIA has identified 100 systems that could have potential problems with the century date change. This does not include the functions of the airport's tenants, including individual airlines. Neither does it include the computer systems of the Federal Aviation Administration, which oversees air traffic control.

Of these systems, 40 have been deemed mission critical. These vulnerable systems include: the underground train system, airport communications boards, fire alarms, security access, gate access, flight and baggage information displays and the much-maligned baggage system, problems with which twice delayed the opening of the $4.3 billion airport. . . .

The Year 2000 problem lurks not only in back office computer systems, but in any mechanical device that relies on internal computer chips to function.

These embedded systems don't cost as much to fix. However, testing for compliancy can be labor intensive and expensive. Embedded systems such as the trains could represent the lion's share of the airport's Year 2000 problem, given that most of its computer systems are new enough to be compliant.

Officials at DIA said although they don't have a timeline for dealing with compliance, they are confident the problem will get fixed in time.

"We have every intention of solving this problem before Jan. 1, 2000." said Cannon. "But if the airport gets all our systems in compliance and the FAA doesn't, the airport will not work."

"The FAA is not going to let air traffic go to hell in a hand basket," said Cannon. "They aren't going to let something go that needs to be done.

Not everyone in the industry shares Cannon's faith in this arm of the federal government.

"The airlines have more incentive to deal with this problem, but more importantly they also have the business structure to take immediate action," said Boyd, who has no plans for air travel around the end of 1999. "But the FAA can't even change a light bulb in less than three years. I'm very concerned about the FAA."

Link: 

http://www.amcity.com/denver/stories/042098/story1.html

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