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The FAA Glitch: A Learning Opportunity

November 19, 2009

The FAA Telecommunications Infrastructure suffered a glitch today, which caused air traffic delays around the country. The statement from the FAA indicates that a software configuration error caused some key networking elements, which are responsible for flight planning, to be unavailable. Once this occurred, there was ripple effect throughout the National Airspace Data Interchange Network (NADIN), resulting in the manual entry of flight plans. This caused delays in flights across the country.

It should be made clear that at no time was flight safety affected, and that communications with all aircraft was maintained, and that key safety systems remained operational. However, with workers having to process flight plans manually, and then fax or email them, delays were experienced by many travelers.

The lesson hear is that all businesses need to be ready with business continuity plans. Your business may not handle millions of messages a day the way NADIN does, but each message you do handle is very important to the partner or customer who is on the other end of it. This is why it is always good to have a backup plan, and be ready with a communications solution that is resilient, and is ready to continue to operate during unanticipated events.

Businesses can take a look a the MegaPath Business Continuity Planning Checklist and use it as a tool to see if they are ready to handle a communications crisis situation. Having a managed SLL solution, or a cost effective backup broadband network in place, are good steps your business can take to make sure that your business gets transacted, even if their is a glitch somewhere in the system.

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