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Tuesday, 29 November 2011

US firm promises zero tech glitches

The Delhi airport will not face any more scares of radar screens going on the blink, claims Raytheon, the US-based company that has provided the software for Delhi’s Air Traffic Control (ATC).

In January this year, the radar system of the Delhi airport had malfunctioned twice within a

fortnight, causing a huge scare and enormous flight delays. The first incident had occurred on January 14, when the entire radar system at Delhi ATC collapsed, following a software failure during peak evening hours. On January 27, the single screen went blank at the ATC because of a similar problem.

In January, the Delhi ATC was using the software AutoTrac-II, made by Raytheon and the system was being upgraded to the next version,  AutoTrac-III. According to sources, on January 14, one of the screens had gone blank and while trying to revive it, the whole system had crashed.

Speaking on the issue for the first time, senior officials of Raytheon said that the problem occurred because the trial process of upgrading was still on. “There were some training issues, but that is a part of the trial process,” said Steve DuMont, MD, International Air Traffic Management, Raytheon.

“The system is now completely stable and Delhi ATC

is using the AutoTrac-III,” he said, assuring that there is no chance of a similar glitch happening again.

Raytheon spokesperson Caroline Harris said that at present Delhi ATC has secondary radar backup and a third backup too. DuMont claimed that 60% of the world’s air traffic is managed using Raytheon products.

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