Wednesday, December 07, 2011


As you may have noticed, the Administrator resigned before I could even finish writing the previous blog. This gives us a wonderful opportunity to ask ourselves: What changed? What will change in the future?

My dad gave me some wonderful advice shortly after I started working. “Anytime you think you’ve become important at work, imagine what will change if you don’t ever show up for work again tomorrow.” So, air-traffic-control friends, what changed at the FAA today when Randy Babbitt didn’t show up for work? Gettin’ the Flick?

Now keep your thinking cap on and head on over to the Praxis Foundation. Be sure to follow the links. Yes, some will hurt your head. And some will lead back here. But it’s worth it for the clarity of thought alone.

Radio Check, Ride Report, Best Interest

”Politically, NextGen/ERAM is too big too fail. Operationally and financially they need to pull the plug, because they overpromised and didn’t build in tolerance for initial failure.

ERAM is the dead elephant in the room, and it’s about to go the way of the Advanced Automation System (AAS)”

”In order to cost-justify NextGen, they’ve cooked the books on all the future budget plans. They won’t need as many controllers. They won’t need as many VORs, ILSs, etc. They won’t need as many terminal facilities (so they’ve stopped maintaining the roofs, btw). They won’t need technicians in the field. There’s a huge disconnect between their budget plans, their political agenda, and their operational commitments. Hello, More With Less 5.0”

See what I mean? Keep history in mind. ERAM is going to drag on and on and on. You can make a dead elephant walk if you spend enough money on it. Well, at least you can drag it from room to room and make it appear like it’s walking to those that aren’t paying attention.

Don Brown
December 7, 2011


Tom Brusehaver said...

Something has to replace the Host computers, they aren't flexible enough to go forward with ICAO and other requirements. Adaptation sucks, since eache center has to be unique.

ERAM is a possibility, or a hybred super commonARTs would be another option.

(common arts was capable of handling 10000 airplanes in a tracon, ERAM is only required to handle 1000 in a center).

Sid said...

From Tom's comment I must have missed something. Host computers are not flexible enough to go forward with ICAO? Our center just receive a mailbox (noticed from the Tech Center) about ICAO 2012 going into the Host system since ERAM won't be ready.
"Adaptation sucks since each center is unique" Really! each center is suppose to be unique just given its geographically location. ERAM isn't a hybrid of anything. Instead of taking a working system and migrating it to a newer platform and add enhancements the FAA throws it all way. They are trying to recreate what they already have, spending nearly 3 billion dollars for no functional improvement.

Don one disagreement about ERAM being the dead elephant in the room, I mostly agree. But the FAA has left itself no way out of the box. Which I believe both Lockheed and the FAA program office had in mind all along. Provide no other path but the ERAM one. It will take ERAM 20 plus years to achieve the functionality that is built into Host today. Besides ADS-B is running 24x7 at ZHU.

Take the billions that were already wasted and start over? just can't happen, they have already lied to congress to may times.