FAA Computer Upgrades Coincide With AirVenture

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EAA is in discussions with the FAA over the decision to perform a major computer upgrade on the three days prior to and the first day of AirVenture that apparently involve systems used for the slot reservation system for IFR traffic going to Oshkosh and three neighboring airports. Late last week a note appeared on the Electronic Special Traffic Management Programs (eSTMP) website saying the service, which non-scheduled IFR traffic must use to reserve arrival and departure slots at Wittman, Fond du Lac, Outagamie and New Holstein airports during the show, would not be available from July 23-26. After being contacted by AVweb and EAA, the FAA changed the message on the website to read that the upgrades would go ahead as planned but the slot reservation service would remain available.

EAA spokesman Dick Knapinski told AVweb there will be more discussions on Monday over the timing of the computer upgrade. The eSTMP system is used whenever a large influx of traffic is anticipated in places not generally geared for that kind of activity. IFR operators can reserve a slot up to 72 hours in advance of their planned arrival or departure and must have the slot reserved and confirmed at least 12 hours in advance. The computer upgrade will occur during one of the busiest periods for the reservation system as it could involve the large numbers of aircraft that will be on display or be used by exhibitors to get to the show for opening day.