STARS Wars Continue

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FAA system specialists say there’s no way the FAA can safelymeet a November 17 target to deploy the controversial STARS system inPhiladelphia. Tom Brantley, vice president of the Professional Airways SystemsSpecialists Union, told Aviation Weekly there will only be three people trainedto maintain the new gear by then. Up to eight will be needed to cover 24-houroperation, according to Brantley. The FAA claims it will have five specialiststrained. PASS also claims a software glitch that sometimes attaches the wronginformation box to a blip on the screen has not yet been fixed. Although ithasn’t happened in Philadelphia, trial systems in El Paso and Syracuse arestill having the "jumping track" problem. The FAA claims all will bein order by Nov. 17 and if it isn’t … well, that date was a "target"and no precise date has really been set. FAA spokesman William Shumann saidAdministrator Marion Blakey has made it clear that the screens won’t be lit up"until and unless the system is safe." Or is that just the target?