This story really tickled us here at OPAL HQ this week, so we decided to share it with you. As a Microsoft Partner we know only too well the struggles of working on older versions of Windows. We have to say though, it’s been quite some time since we’ve come across anybody using Windows 3.1.
Orly Airport in France recently suffered a major technical hitch, grounding dozens of flights and causing significant disruption to thousands. Well now the cause of the problem has been revealed it turns out that Orly’s Air Traffic Control system runs on Windows 3.1.
That’s right, it’s running on a piece of software that was around when Floppy Disks were big and the idea of CD-ROMs seemed like the scary future.
According to Vice News, the culprit was a piece of software called DECOR which is used during take off and landings. The software allows Air Traffic Control to provide pilots with a Runway Visual Distance, so how far the pilot can see down a runway.
With the software effectively down, the controllers would have been unable to notify pilots of their visibility if a fog had descended or bad weather had rolled in.
According to Alexandre Fiacre, secretary general of France’s UNSA-IESSA air traffic controller union, the company that manages both Orly Airport and Charles de Gaulle are using software that’s between 10-20 years old.
The French Transportation Ministry has reportedly vowed to update the systems by 2017.