National Air Traffic Services (Nats) has brought forward changes to the computer system which caused delays for thousands of travellers last month.
The Flight Data Processing System (FDPS) was due to be moved by 2007, but Nats has revealed to vnunet.com that it will now be moved from its present site at the West Drayton centre to the new air traffic control centre at Swanwick in 2006.
Nats is looking at a "progressive replacement" of elements of the FDPS so that by 2006 fewer airports will rely on the system. It maintained that the accelerated move was not related to the problems with the system.
Nats claims to have identified the problem in the software which caused the system to crash when a faulty flight plan was entered. It has modified the system so that it will now reject faulty plans.
It has also confirmed that software at Swanwick will be replaced by the end of the decade.
Swanwick became operational in January this year, five years late and £180m over budget. Much of the delay and expense was due to problems with software development.
"At some stage towards the end of the decade we will look to upgrade [the software] further. For the time being we are encouraged by the 30 per cent increase in capacity we will get over the next four to five years," said a Nats spokesman. "Technology moves quickly [but] it is some years away."
vnunet.com previously revealed that Nats is already developing long term plans for replacing the software at Swanwick. Nats said it will use off-the-shelf commercial products this time rather than develop its own systems.
Swanwick controls 200,000 square miles of airspace over England and Wales, and looks after two million flights per year.
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