The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
says preliminary results from a Year 2000 - or Y2K - test
that took place at Denver International Airport and
nearby FAA air traffic facilities on April 10-11 indicate
that air traffic control systems will perform properly
during the transition from Dec. 31, 1999, to Jan. 1,
During the test, air traffic systems at Denver, Colorado
Springs, Grand Junction and Longmont, Colo., were split,
with one side handling aircraft as normal. On the test
side, system clocks were forwarded to New Year's Eve and
rolled over to a simulated new year. Test systems did not
handle traffic, so safety was not compromised. Recorded
data from both systems is being analyzed for comparison
"A preliminary analysis of this data shows that the
performance of the systems on both sides was virtually
identical," said FAA Administrator Jane F. Garvey.
"This indicates to us that air traffic systems on
Jan. 1, 2000, will perform just as they did on Dec. 31,
The test involved:
· Air traffic control (ATC) systems at the Denver
International Airport tower, the Denver TRACON, the
Colorado Springs TRACON, the Grand Junction tower, and
the Longmont, Colo., en route center. Systems at each of
those facilities are used throughout the country, and
cover all phases of flight from takeoffs to landings.
This was a test of the nation's ATC system.
· Systems used in all aspects of flight, including those
for processing radar, weather and flight plan data.
· The plotting of the movement of one flight in
particular, United Airlines Flight 2778, which landed at
Denver during the test. Data on Flight 2778 from live and
test systems at the Denver TRACON and the en route center
at Longmont are identical.
· The processing of 453 flight plans by the en route
center at Longmont.
· The tracking of 51 aircraft by the Denver TRACON
during the duration of the test. (Note: For safety
purposes, all FAA air traffic tests are conducted at
night, during periods of light traffic. Light traffic
volume does not impact the validity of these tests.)
· A total of 108 FAA employees, 73 from Airways
Facilities and 35 from Air Traffic.
The FAA has completed the renovation and testing of all
systems requiring Y2K work. Those systems are now being
implemented in the field. The FAA is on track to complete
implementation by June 30, 1999.
The Department of Transportation is committed to meeting
the Y2K date change. As of March 31, 11 of DOT's 14
agencies achieved 100 percent Y2K compliance. At this
time, 89 percent of the Department's mission-critical
systems are compliant. All remaining systems will be
completed in a timely manner, well in advance of Jan. 1,