FAA catches up on Y2K fixes

The head of the Federal Aviation Administration last week told Congress that the agency has fixed nearly all of its mission-critical computer systems for the Year 2000 bug and now must begin testing.

FAA Administrator Jane F. Garvey told a joint hearing of the Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the House Task Force on Y2K that the agency will have renovated 99 percent of its computer systems by Sept. 30, which is the deadline the Clinton administration set for all agencies to have renovated mission-critical systems.

But Carol Hallett, president and chief executive officer of the Air Transport Association, said she would like to see the FAA and Congress put more pressure on airports that do not have a Year 2000 plan. Of the 81 airports that ATA has investigated, 28 have indicated that they do not have a formal plan for dealing with the Year 2000.

To aid airports, the FAA proposed an amendment to its pending reauthorization bill that would allow airports to spend as much as $100 million of fiscal 1999 Airport Improvement Program (AIP) federal grants on Year 2000. The amendment would allow airports to pay for checking all airport facilities, technology systems such as baggage claim and ticketing, and equipment owned by the airport if the systems have Year 2000 date problems.

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