For Immediate Release

December 1, 1999
Contact: John Clabes
Phone: (405)954-7500

The Host and Oceanic Computer System Replacement Program is a key component of the ongoing modernization of the Federal Aviation Administration's National Airspace System. The new Host computers will replace the main air traffic control automation computers deployed during the 1980s at the Air Route Traffic Control Centers in the continental United States, Honolulu Center Radar Approach Control, the Anchorage, Alaska center and various support sites.

The Host and Oceanic computers at these centers are the foundation of the FAA automated air traffic control environment and a major element of the national airspace system. The computers receive, process, coordinate, distribute and track information on aircraft movement throughout the nation's airspace, and includes oceanic international air traffic. The computers provide data to all types of FAA facilities – air traffic control towers, terminal radar approach control centers, flight service stations, adjacent flight information regions, the Host and Oceanic computers at other enroute centers – and to external organizations such as the U.S. Customs Service and the military. The architecture and processing capability provided by the computers are key to the FAA's ability to implement new services, concepts, and traffic flows for the airline industry and flying public. The availability of these computers is critical to maintaining the nation's commerce.

The computers Host replaces at the enroute centers were deployed in 1986 through 1988. They were an interim upgrade, to be replaced in the mid-to late 1990s. Many of the hardware components have reached or are near the end of their commercial lives.

The new computers are Y2K compliant and should be in use until 2008. They will give the FAA the ability to enhance and expand its air traffic control capabilities to meet forecast increases in demand. The new equipment takes up only 20 percent of the space needed by the old computers. Increased processor speeds reduce the time for certain tasks from 1.5 hours to 22 minutes. Cost savings for power are estimated to be $15.6 million over the life of the equipment.

In February 1999 the New York Center in Ronkonkoma, New York, was the first center to demonstrate operational readiness of the new Host Phase 1 computers. All enroute and oceanic air traffic control centers will be equipped with the new computers before the end of the 1999.