Although it wasn’t intended to be, this blog evolved into one primarily about the FAA’s attempts to replace its aged HOST computer system with En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM), mostly because there has been (and continues) to be a void of information about the project.
It’s been a while since my last entry because my facility – Minneapolis ARTCC (ZMP) – hasn’t used ERAM on live traffic since spring of 2010. Given that little information about ERAM was forthcoming, there wasn’t much I could write about until now.
The program continues to be delayed by numerous problems and bugs, and costs continue to escalate.
ERAM was first used on live traffic at the key sites, Salt Lake Center (ZLC) and …
It’s official: both the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the air traffic controllers’ union (NATCA) have decided that ERAM (En Route Automation Modernization) is close enough for government work.
My facility, Minneapolis Center (ZMP) will start running the latest version of ERAM this week, planning to run it continuously. Denver Center (ZDV) started running it full time over a week ago.
We recently ran the same version of the software for a week towards the end of May. Apparently the primary reason ZMP didn’t start running ERAM full time then was because we don’t have enough personnel trained (mostly support staff) with ERAM.
Does that mean that the latest version has all the major bugs fixed? Not by a long …
The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) development continues, slowly but surely.
The entire ERAM program was a disaster that the FAA had been in denial about for years. In 2009 they were proclaiming the program on time and on budget.
When they started trying to use ERAM at Salt Lake Center (ZLC) they found it was unstable and bug ridden. But they had no way to test it other than on live air traffic. So they did.
Because timelines were clearly more important to the FAA than safety, in spite of all the problems they went ahead with their plans to deploy ERAM at other facilities (including mine – Minneapolis Center or ZMP).
However, in the …
The FAA has been continuing to test its En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) at its two keysite facilities, Salt Lake Center (ZLC) and Seattle Center (ZSE).
They’re now planning on expanding the program further (again), in spite of the significant ongoing bugs the software still has.
ERAM is one of the cornerstones of the FAA much touted NextGen system, and was intended to replace the aging HOST computer system that runs the radar displays at the FAA’s enroute air traffic control centers.
They first started testing ERAM in the fall of 2009 at Salt Lake Center (ZLC), and quickly discovered that it wasn’t even close to being ready for use with live air traffic. That didn’t stop them then from …
A reader tipped me off to an article regarding the Federal Aviation Administration’s En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) project on FierceGovernmentIT dated January 19th, 2011. (Thanks, Dave!)
The article states that ERAM:
…won’t reach nationwide operational readiness until August 2014 and will cost $330 million more than expected…
But it’s no news that the ERAM project has been delayed by problems, and those problems are costing the government (and the taxpayers) millions.
I’ve been patiently waiting to read the results of an Office of Inspector General audit on the ERAM program that was initiated in September of 2010. I know that many of those working on the ERAM project at my facility were interviewed by the Inspector General last …
It’s been a while since my last FAA En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) update, mostly because where I’m sitting it’s been pretty quiet on the ERAM development front.
That’s not to say that ERAM still doesn’t have its share of critical bugs, and it’s still likely not ready for deployment at the busier facilities elsewhere in the country.
I have heard of bugs that were corrected re-appearing in newer ERAM versions still, a problem they’ve been having from the very beginning.
ERAM also still has the potential to crash both an adjacent facility’s HOST computer system, as well as an adjacent ERAM computer system.
But both Salt Lake Center (ZLC) and Seattle Center (ZSE), the two key sites for ERAM, …
It’s been a while since my last entry and although I’ve had plenty to write about, I’ve been enjoying the summer here in Minnesota that will inevitably end all too soon.
But I did want to write an update on the status of the FAA’s En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) since I’ve written about it so much previously.
ERAM is the enroute air traffic control system computer replacement that’s supposed to be a cornerstone of the FAA’s much touted NextGen air traffic control system, although due to numerous bugs and problems with the ERAM program its testing on live traffic was suspended this spring.
Since my facility (Minneapolis ARTCC or ZMP) is no longer a key site for ERAM …
We know that the new En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) computer program is still full of bugs.
The ERAM software is the program that is supposed to replace the FAA’s HOST computer that currently runs its enroute controllers’ radar displays and processes flight plan information.
Because of the deployment schedule (the FAA likes to call it “waterfall”) for ERAM, it must be able to interface properly with those facilities running the current enroute computer system (the HOST computer).
Of course the plan is to eventually have all the facilities running ERAM, but the switchover won’t be instantaneous nationwide; some facilities will run ERAM before others.
However, there is at least one software bug in ERAM that they’ve known about since …
It’s been a while since my last entry, mostly because all has been pretty quiet on the En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) front, at least at my facility (Minneapolis ARTCC or ZMP), and I’ve been otherwise occupied with other summer projects.
As you may know the FAA stopped testing the ERAM software on live traffic in late March, due to the many serious problems they were experiencing with it. I don’t believe it has been used on live traffic since.
Sometime in April some of the centers began testing version 2 of the ERAM software, which also involved some firmware updates to hardware. We’ve gone to our backup computer system (EBUS/DARC) several times on the overnight/midshift since then to accomplish …
In spite of the FAA’s attempts to keep their ongoing problems with their En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) program under wraps, there are those that have taken notice.
The Department of Transportation Inspector General (DOT IG), Calvin L. Scovel III, testifed before the House Subcommittee on Aviation on April 21st, 2010, about the status of the FAA’s entire NextGen project, including ERAM, stating that (my emphasis):
The $2.1 billion ERAM program will replace the existing hardware and software at facilities that manage high-altitude traffic. ERAM, however, is experiencing software-related problems at FAA’s key initial operating site in Salt Lake City. These problems include radar processor failures, problems in handing off traffic between controllers, and critical flight information being paired to