Polishing STARS

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As AVweb reported last week, the implementation of the new STARS system is still drawing much criticism -- now, it appears the FAA may be listening. A week before a new air traffic control system is supposed to be put into service, FAA officials have called an unusual high-level meeting to review reported flaws of STARS ... including misrepresenting radar images and improperly labeling data tags. The FAA --which wants to begin using it in Philadelphia on Nov. 17 -- says STARS will increase safety and reduce flight delays, but has apparently thought twice about its reliability, as proved by this recent meeting. Ironically, the FAA has doubted the system in the past. In 1983, the agency decided to implement the system but then abandoned most of that project in 1994, citing it as "unworkable." This false start cost the taxpayers $2.6 billion.