It's Showtime For STARS

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STARS finally debuted at the Philadelphia International Airport on Sunday after some well-publicized criticism of the system. The Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System (STARS) is supposed to help air traffic controllers identify and handle traffic more efficiently than older systems currently in use in most facilities. STARS uses color monitors and allows controllers to see weather maps. Critics say it's not that accurate and point to tests at El Paso, Texas, where air traffic controllers say they couldn't tell the difference between planes on the runway and trucks on a nearby highway. A recent high-level meeting was held by the FAA to address reported flaws in the system. It's not the first time the FAA has questioned its reliability. The on-again, off-again project was given the go-ahead in 1983, but scrapped temporarily in 1994 when it was declared "unworkable." The FAA plans to install the system in 74 airports.