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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposed a directive this week, seeking to upgrade software on mid-air collision warning devices installed on approximately 9000 US aircraft.
The proposal comes after a test flight revealed problems with the device, manufactured by a unit of L-3 Communication Holdings Inc.
According to the FAA, the device aboard the test flight failed to keep track of all nearby aircraft and one aircraft disappeared for at least 40 seconds from cockpit displays, which “could lead to possible loss of separation of air traffic and possible mid-air collisions.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, regulators want to allow up to four years for upgrades to be fully implemented, deeming the safety issue a non-imminent threat.
A spokesperson for L-3 Communication Holdings Inc. said the company had been working on a fix for many months.“The Aviation Communication and Surveillance Systems (ACSS) is committed to aviation safety, and the performance and integrity of its products are of utmost importance. ACSS is actively working with and supporting the FAA on this matter,” the spokesperson said.