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Millennium bug

FAA says it's now ahead of target on 2000 problem

July 31, 1998
Web posted at: 3:30 p.m. EDT (1530 GMT)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The Federal Aviation Administration said Friday it has renovated 67 percent of its critical air traffic control computers to cope with the Year 2000 computer problem.

In a statement, FAA administrator Jane Garvey moved to reassure passengers that the FAA would have the problem licked in plenty of time for the date change.

Garvey said the progress so far was ahead of an internal target of 60 percent at this point. "I'm confident that we have the team and the resources in place to get the job done," she said.

The FAA, which was sharply criticized in Congress earlier this year for its slow start in dealing with the problem, said it was now on track to meet a September 30 government guideline for all departments and agencies to have repairs made.

Because most older computers allocate just two digits for the year in recognizing dates, many are expected to read the year 2000 as 1900 and may fail or provide wrong information.

The FAA's task has been complicated by the elderly patchwork of hundreds of computers that make up the air traffic control system.

Of the FAA's 433 mission critical systems, 159 require renovation to be Year 2000 compliant. To date, 106 of the 159 systems have been updated, the FAA said.

Copyright 1998 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

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