Now here is something right up the Bellyachers’ alley.

We’ve been warning for a long time — or at least since our Bellyache computer went up in a puff of smoke a few months back — of the over-reliance on all things computerised and here’s the proof in the proverbial pudding. The failure of a single piece of computer gear in the far flung […]


We’ve been warning for a long time — or at least since our Bellyache computer went up in a puff of smoke a few months back — of the over-reliance on all things computerised and here’s the proof in the proverbial pudding. The failure of a single piece of computer gear in the far flung US state of Utah disrupted travel for thousands of airpassengers in the US in November.

The malfunction reportedly occurred when a card inside a router that processes flight plans and weather information started to fail. The router began feeding misinformation to controllers about planes’ intended flight paths and, in some cases, what the weather was like. Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) insist there was no danger to the public. Yah, sure. Who needs correct flight path or weather information?

Apparently it’s the second time in 15 months that a tech glitch threw air travel into disarray across large swaths of the country. This latest problem took four hours to resolve, and promptedfresh criticism of the FAA. The FAA has been struggling for years to upgrade itsantiquated systems, layering modernhardware and software on top of decadesoldair-traffic-control technology critical today-to-day operations.

But being civic-minded, we’ve put our heads together here at Bellyache Central and we think we’ve come up with a viable (perhaps) and certainly inexpensive solution to modernising the US’ antiquated air traffic control system. With the US government estimating the NextGen system will take another decade to implement for a cost of over US$40 billion, we reckon our solution could be up and running in a matter of weeks, and hey because we’re nice people, we’ll do it for just US$1 billion !