Subj: Flight chaos after LA airport radar equipment failure
Date: 10/19/00 12:58:07 PM Pacific Daylight Time

10/19/2000 15:04:00 ET

Flight chaos after LA airport radar equipment failure

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Hundreds of flights in and out of Los Angeles
international airport were grounded, cancelled or severely delayed on
Thursday after a radar equipment outage at one of the nation"'s busiest
air hubs.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) spokesman said computer software
equipment processing radar information went down at about 6:50 a.m. PDT
(9:30 a.m EDT) (1330 GMT) during an upgrade. It came back briefly but
then went down again around 9 a.m. PDT (noon EDT) (1600 GMT). The
computer coordinates high altitude traffic in, out and across the
southern California region.

"There is a national ground stoppage of flights leaving southern
California," the spokesman said. An automatic backup system came into
force ensuring the safety of planes already in the air. At Los Angeles
airport, where domestic or international flights take off or land almost
every minute, officials said all incoming and departing flights had been
delayed to some extent.

Arrival and display boards showed scores of cancellations. "We do have
intermittent arrivals and departures. It is not a total shutdown,"
spokeswoman Diana Sanchez said. Sanchez could not say how many flights
had been affected by the radar equipment failure. "We are recommending
that people call their airlines before they set off," she said. FAA
officials said the ground hold applied only to Los Angeles airport,
although other airports in the region might also have experienced some