Complete STARS system is operating at Texas airport

Complete STARS system is operating at Texas airport

After years of delay and cost overruns, the Federal Aviation Administration finally is operating a full version of the Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System.

Air traffic controllers at the El Paso International Airport use STARS consoles to view the separation and sequencing of air traffic, weather advisories, and radar vectoring of aircraft departures and arrivals.

Working at large, video game-style color consoles like the one shown at, controllers can see the types of aircraft, flight numbers, destinations and flight paths.

STARS workstations will replace terminal radar and other equipment at 172 FAA and 199 Defense Department facilities.

FAA in 1996 awarded Raytheon Co. the contract for the STARS implementation, which was estimated to cost $940 million. The system is supposed to be in place at civilian facilities by February 2005 and at military air traffic centers by July 2007.

Because of changes in FAA's requirements, program costs have spiraled to $1.4 billion, and deployment is almost four years behind schedule. The next STARS installation will be in Philadelphia in November.

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