OF FRIGHTS AND FLIGHTS

TERRORIST ALERTS ADD TO THE ARTHRITIC DELAYS OF AN AIR-TRAFFIC SYSTEM BURDENED WITH OUTDATED TECHNOLOGY

There were two ways to get stranded at an airport in August: the New York way, which might be called terrorist-driven; and the California way, which might be called technology-jinxed. In New York City last Monday, the three big area airports briefly ceased business. The cause was a bomb threat to the obscure yet vital New York Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON), where 200 air-traffic controllers usher planes through a 150-mile radius around New York City. "There was reason to believe the caller had knowledge of the building and how it worked," says Phil Barbarello, head of the local traffic controllers'...

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