The IT project from hell

Many of you Neowin members may not be aware of the ongoing saga of the UK's National Air Traffic Service so I thought I'd bring you this.

The UK government bought in a new system which has already crashed several times since it was introduced earlier this year, six years behind schedule and hundreds of millions of pounds over budget.

Such problems have included a small typeface which was blamed for one aircraft being sent to Glasgow instead of Cardiff and another to the wrong height - and all because of the display in front of them. The call signs were indistinguishable so new displays with larger text are to be tested shortly.

Now the UK government has announced it will pump more taxpayers' money into it. NATS is currently surviving on a loan of £60m from its shareholders which should keep the company afloat until September. But the government has now said it will give even more cash - matching any amount raised by NATS and BAA. Whitehall - UK govn. - is now in talks with these organisations to establish how much funding is required and has until financing runs out to decide.

Although a spokesman for the Department of Transport would not be drawn on the amount the government would donate, reports in the Daily Mail citing a transport select committee meeting, suggest the sum could be anything up to £65m. This means NATS could in theory receive £130m in total. Nice!

News source:

View: More taxpayer money to be pumped into NATS, and including more links:

View: Confusion at 20,000 feet: Typeface to blame

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