reply to post by TheAssociate
Associate, what do you fear a 'hacker' can accomplish?
Worst thing they could do is slow the system down (which severe weather does already).
"Air Traffic Control" is a sort of misnomer.
The 'job' of ATC is, simply, to facilitate and (hopefully) expedite air traffic. RADAR, of course, is intrumental in today's busy airspace, to
give real-time (well, ALMOST real-time....there is always a few seconds delay) ability to see the traffic under their jurisdiction.
But, remember, ATC existed BEFORE the technology of RADAR. Because, it really is, at its core, about communication. Radio and landline telephones.
Pilots communicate via radio, obviously...controllers communicate via telephone as they co-ordinate 'hand-offs' between their various sectors of
SO, if a computer "hacker" can disrupt the computer feeds, and screw up the RADAR info available to the Centers and TRACONs, then everything will
revert to the 'old-fashioned' way of doing things. Tried and true, decades-old procedures. THEY are still used, even today, in regions without
RADAR coverage....remote places in Alaska. Parts of Amazonial Brazil, MANY portions of the African continent, Asian continent, etc.
AND, I believe there are plenty of firewalls in place, at least in the USA system. Consider the EU, though...all those different countries, ALL
connected? No, only superficially.
Last bit of rant: The common Aviation Language is ENGLISH! THIS is the
so-called 'standard' that is supposed to be employed WorldWide. Well, my experiences -- in France THEY speak 'english' when addressing
english-speaking pilots, but they use their idiomatic language when it's a french airplane (or French Canadian, sometimes....depends on how the pilot
initiates the conversation). In Germany, by comparison, they follow the 'rules'.
Not to single out France, any pilot who flies internationally will find the same thing in Mexico, Central and South America, Asia, Eastern
Europe...you name it. This is important because a pilot's mind is listening, and always keeping a 3-D image of local air traffic, based on what they
hear others are doing. IF you don't know the language, you lose that advantage. Nowadays, better cockpit techology is available, such as TCAS, so
it's not as big a deal as it once was. Still, a good pilot knows that he must rely on HIMSELF/HERSELF first. ATC is just another tool.
(No offence to ATC professionals....we are a team).