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]

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