Aero Space

Aero Space

Air traffic control systems are one of the best examples for systems requiring high availability. Air traffic controllers have one of the most complex and stressful jobs imaginable. In today’s busy skies, a single error in directing airplanes can potentially lead to catastrophic results.

During the summer of 2008 more than 200 fights were delayed or cancelled at the Dublin airport due to a shutdown in the Dublin air traffic control radar system.

In 2009, a shutdown in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ´s automated fight planning and communication system caused significant flight delays and cancellation across the country.

In 2006 almost 200 flights were cancelled at the Seattle Tacoma International Airport due to power outages and system failures in the Terminal Approach Radar system.

Real life situations such as these can place people in significant danger simply because critical systems were not available when they were needed the most.

Modernization trends in Aero Space
  • Software intensive systems
  • Computerization of airports (includes ticketing, checkin, flight and luggage tracking systems)
  • Co-ordination among different airports
  • Focus on quality of software
  • Reduce cost by software (upgrade)
Challenges that came along with the Modernization
  • Flight safety
  • Increased software functional density and complexity
  • Increased the chances of multiple points of failure across distributed systems
  • Mixed criticality systems
  • Difficulty in monitoring of different software systems seamlessly by a single HA Software
  • Difficulty in Management and Control of different software systems as well as in upgrade


Australia's busiest airport halts for 90 minutes- Flight Planning System Failure

At Sydney Airport, the software fault failed to convert from night-shift operations to day-shift operations. The fault was related to the flight planning system which feeds into the radar and without it, controllers cannot see which plane is which.

- The safety of the travelling passengers

- Airport, aircraft movements had virtually ground to a halt

- The backlogs of flights continued for the day


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British Airways Flights Disrupted By IT Failures costing around £8 million

Aug, 2019, The airline first reported the failure affecting short-haul flight check-in and departures at Heathrow, Gatwick and London City, but the knock-on impact was felt at airports in Europe.

The system failure is thought to have been on two of the systems that BA use, one for check-in and one for flight departures.

It caused over 100 flight cancelations today and delayed over 200 flights.

The compensation for those stranded and effected by the IT system failure is expected to cost British Airways in excess of £8 million.

British Airways also experienced critical systems failures in July of last year. A massive BA system failure in May 2017, which the airline attributed to a power outage, stranded 75,000 passengers, which cost IAG (the owner of BA) nearly £80 million



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