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New Air Traffic Control Computer Goes On Line At Atlanta Center

February 8, 1988

HAMPTON, Ga. (AP) _ Federal Aviation Administration officials on Monday dedicated a new air traffic control computer designed to process data 10 times faster than its 18- year-old predecessor.

The new IBM 3083 computer at the Atlanta Air Route Traffic Control Center at suburban Hampton can store more than four times more information than the old system.

″We like to look at it as our first step into the future,″ said Jack Byrnes, the center’s assistant manager for plans, programs and security.

According to the FAA, when the old computer ran out of data storage capacity, it would erase 2-hour-old flight plans and delete weather data from radar screens. In peak periods, processing data updated by controllers and returning it to their screens could take 30 seconds, a long time when jets are moving at 500 mph.

The new system is part of a 10-year, $15 billion modernization of the nation’s air traffic control system.

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