Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport Nears Y2K Readiness

Officials at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport last week voted to spend $300,000 on a computerized airport lighting system to direct pilots to assigned runways, the latest move to ensure the airport has contingencies in place for the Year 2000 date change.

The lighting system will allow personnel to turn airfield lights on with the push of a button from their command center, in contrast to the current system of remote switches. "We're spending sizable money to ensure that we're compliant, and the new system will provide a lovely benefit," said Kevin Cox, first deputy executive director at the airport.

Cox said that "91.5 percent of all the [Year 2000-compliance work] has been accomplished" and that the nation's third-busiest airport is "on schedule for completion on Oct. 31." Of the airport's 108 systems, about 20 are left to undergo remediation, but none of those are critical systems, he said.

"Things like voice messaging and tax deposits remain, but they are not critical," Cox said. "If they failed, they don't have anything to do with safety. If our voice mail doesn't work, people will call back."

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