Feeds

Dublin airport was crippled by flakey network card

Flight into terror tedium

Application security programs and practises

An air traffic control fault that brought Dublin airport to its knees last week has been traced to an intermittently flakey network card.

Sadly, while the problem was simple enough to diagnose, it’ll be weeks before the airport’s air traffic control system will be able to run at full capacity.

The system went for a little lie down last Wednesday, and while it was back up and running soon enough concerns over its capacity meant authorities had to slash the number of flights in and out of the airport.

It wasn’t until Wednesday that the Irish Aviation Authority was prepared to say “operations at Dublin Airport are now generally meeting demand” though “some minor delays may be experienced at peak times”.

Thales ATM, the makers of Dublin’s ATC system, conducted a review of the system, and after crawling around the airport with their little torches, “confirmed the root cause of the hardware system malfunction as an intermittent malfunctioning network card which consequently overcame the built-in system redundancy”. The flakey card had been responsible for previous problems since June 2.

Apparently, Thales ATM stated ”that in ten similar Air Traffic Control Centres worldwide with over 500,000 flight hours (50 years), this is the first time an incident of this type has been reported”.

So, problem solved? Er, sadly not. The IAA has slapped in further monitoring tools, and plans “an enhancement” to the failure recovery system. But whatever happens, the system will need to be revalidated, which could take weeks. In the meantime, it will “slowly add capacity“, but for safety reasons “will not operate the system to its limit until the system has been re-validated”.

Which is just what Irish travellers will want to hear as the country builds up to its August bank holiday travel season.

Just to completely cover its backside, it added: "Factors outside the direct control of the Irish Aviation Authority, however, such as weather or congestion in European airspace, may also contribute to flight delays."

So, be warned, your stag party may still be thrown off schedule if Dublin is caught unawares by a deluge of rain, a surprise papal visit or Father Fay seeing his reflection in the cockpit window. ®

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.