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United Kingdom Bug Transportation IT

Computer Failure Disrupts British Air Traffic Control Systems 35

judgecorp writes "Air travel in the UK is facing disruption today, after a computer failure at the national air traffic control body, NATS. There aren't many details at this stage, but flights in and out of Heathrow and Gatwick are subject to delay, and there are fewer flights over the South of England."
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Computer Failure Disrupts British Air Traffic Control Systems

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  • by Cornwallis ( 1188489 ) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @08:45AM (#44224197)

    Quick. Lock everything down.

    • It must be the work of teh terrorists.... Quick. Lock everything down.

      and in their next breath, "See! We (as in the UK and Sweden) were right to veto democratic investigation and talk about the facts [] surrounding our illegal spy regimes.". How the hell can they veto such a thing and keep a straight face? It is as if all pretense of democratic freedom has been lost....

    • The terrorist attack reaction procedure must be launched!

      Quickly! Kill some random guy in the underground! There's no time to lose or teh tarrorists win!

      • by Cornwallis ( 1188489 ) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @09:07AM (#44224367)

        Ray Bradbury was prescient when he included the following in Fahrenheit 451:

        "Montag is able to watch the Hound track him by glancing through people’s house windows into their TV parlors. Literally everybody is watching the televised chase. Montag sees the Hound hesitate when it gets to Faber’s house, but it quickly runs on. As Montag continues to run toward the river, he hears an announcement on his Seashell radio telling everyone to get up and look out their doors and windows for him on the count of ten. He reaches the river just as the announcer counts to ten and all the doors in the neighborhood start to open. To keep the Hound from picking up his scent, he wades into the river and drifts away with the current. He avoids the searchlights of the police helicopters, and then sees them turn and fly away. He washes ashore in the countryside. Stepping out of the river, he is overwhelmed by the sights, sounds, and smells of nature. He finds the railroad track and follows it. As he walks, he senses strongly that Clarisse once walked there, too.

        "The track leads him to a fire with five men sitting around it. The leader of the men sees him in the shadows and invites him to join them, introducing himself as Granger. Granger reveals a portable TV set and tells him that they have been watching the chase and expecting him to come. The men at the fire, though homeless, are surprisingly neat and clean, and have considerable technology. Granger gives Montag a bottle of colorless fluid to drink and explains that it will change the chemical index of his perspiration so the Hound will not be able to find him. Granger tells him the search has continued in the opposite direction and that the police will be looking for a scapegoat to save themselves from the humiliation of losing their prey. The men gather around the TV to watch as the camera zooms in on a man walking down the street, smoking a cigarette. The announcer identifies this man as Montag. The Hound appears and pounces on him, and the announcer declares that Montag is dead and a crime against society has been avenged. The homeless men reflect that the police probably chose the man to be their scapegoat because of his habit of walking by himself—clearly a dangerous and antisocial habit."

  • Someone should be thrown in gaol for this.

  • We have the post office screwing people out of money due to a computer glitch, secret trials and now it looks like we can't even run Air Traffic Control.

    Can we have a post about Andy Murray or something? I want to feel good about my country.
  • I'll bet it's a typo in the code and everyone thinks it's Anonymous' finest hour ...
  • Our software has gone NATS!
  • by auric_dude ( 610172 ) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @09:05AM (#44224347) []
  • by SimonInOz ( 579741 ) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @09:06AM (#44224361)

    I was involved in writing part of that radar system, back in 1978. I hope they aren't still running my code. There was a lot of drinking back then.
    Mind you, maybe they should, it worked then, didn't it?

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @09:16AM (#44224421) Homepage
    From the article:

    UPDATE: NATS has claimed to have now fixed the problem. “NATS has identified and corrected the technical problem that has been affecting air traffic control systems in the south of England,” its latest statement read. “Operations are now returning to normal and we are working with the airports, airlines and Eurocontrol to clear the backlog of flights to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum. “Outbound delays from the UK have generally been limited to 20 minutes.”

    on an unrelated note: Dennis is no longer allowed to sit in the control room while quaffing his morning cuppa.
    NATS operations management team

    • by xaxa ( 988988 )

      From the article:

      Outbound delays from the UK have generally been limited to 20 minutes.”

      A 20-minute delay to flights to the UK makes international news? Beat that, Switzerland and Japan.

      I haven't been this proud of my country for a long time!

  • by marvin ( 5198 ) on Tuesday July 09, 2013 @09:33AM (#44224559)

    Computer says "NO"

  • by PPH ( 736903 )
    Airplane! [] scene.
  • Guess they should have waited a bit before upgrading...

  • Rogue flightplan?

    Destination airport: '); drop table flightplans;


"How many teamsters does it take to screw in a light bulb?" "FIFTEEN!! YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?"