AT&T To Blame For Memphis Air Traffic Control Snafu

AT&T manages the phone line that went out at a Memphis air traffic control center Tuesday, causing massive delays nationwide.

According to acting FAA Administrator Bobby Sturgell the issue was a “BellSouth/AT&T problem.”

From the AP:

“The service disruption was a result of equipment failure … (and) the company is conducting a comprehensive investigation to determine the cause,” according to a statement from AT&T that said no additional information was available. AT&T, which is based in San Antonio, acquired BellSouth Corp. last year.

The outage shut down all air traffic within 250 miles of Memphis because the air traffic control center could not fully communicate with flights passing through its airspace.

National Air Traffic Controllers union spokesman Doug Church on Tuesday called the outage a major safety problem and said controllers had to use their personal cell phones to talk to other air traffic control centers.

Personal cellphones? That’s comforting.

FAA Says Memphis Outage Caused by AT&T [AP]


Edit Your Comment

  1. humphrmi says:

    The ATCC has one line going in to Memphis ATCC and it’s AT&T’s fault that all traffic was shut down because that one line went down.

    Maybe it’s AT&T’s fault because they didn’t introduce the air traffic control communications folks the concept of BCP.

  2. agb says:

    @humphrmi: I don’t see what the Bulgarian Communist Party has to do with this…

  3. OwenCatherwood says:

    @humphrmi: I doubt it’s one line, more like several lines. Of course, this is also the same phone company which had a large portion of their nation-wide phone service die. Perhaps time to change phone companies, FAA?

  4. XTC46 says:

    what these people have never heard of redundancy before? And no, buying 2 sets of lines from the SAME provider is not going to be adequate because usually most outages are provider issues so if the provider goes down, so do both your lines.

  5. taka2k7 says:

    nah, maybe they were looking for terrorists by using the one phone line to illegally eavesdrop on the FAA workers

  6. ElizabethD says:

    You guys are making me very happy with all the Star Wars photo love!