Air safety not guaranteed post-2000

The body responsible for managing Australia's air traffic control systems says it cannot categorically guarantee the safety of passengers in the wake of the Y2K bug.

Keith Orkney, Y2K project manager at Air Services Australia, said the organisation has been working feverishly to bring Australia's network of air traffic control systems into compliance, but can't give 100 per cent assurance on public safety due to reliance on third-party compliance promises.

During the past several years, he said the company has checked more than 200 systems and components within the nation's traffic control systems, 160 of which required some level of change. Just 10 per cent of these corrections have yet to be made during the coming months, Orkney said.

"We haven't found any problems at this point and our testing has revealed that the system will continue to operate," Orkney said of the $500 million TAAATS (The Australian Advanced Air Traffic System) network. "We've got some upgrades still to come through, and this is where the third-party suppliers come into it. We've still got some systems where we're awaiting final software upgrades and releases which will overcome some minor issues, but none of those are related to the basic operation."

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