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Information Display System Replacement Program (IDSR)

Richie Smith (N90) is the Article 114 Representative

Background: The IDS Replacement program was originally supposed to replace all of the Information Display Systems in the NAS with one product known as NIDS (NAS IDS). The program was later reduced to 41 terminal networks comprising 96 facilities and at present time is fully deployed.

Information Display Systems provide a wide variety of information to Air Traffic Controllers such as current weather, airspace delegation, access to approach plates, NOTAMS, SIGMETS, flight route verification, and aircraft information. The most common system in the NAS is a DOS-based system known as IDS-4. These systems are based on the 1980’s technology and as workstations fail it is increasingly difficult to find replacement parts. IDS-4 sustainably has been estimated to end between 2021 and 2026. NIDS is fully deployed at present in 41 networks and is currently categorized as in “sustainment mode”. The program continues to enhance its software and troubleshoot issues but there will no more funded sites in the NAS.

Upcoming Activities:

• While the FAA moves to rank projects for the phased opening approach at the Technical Center it appears that IDSR/NIDS has been allocated to Phase Three which is not expected to be reached until sometime in late 2021. This means that no formal software testing can be accomplished possibly until 2022. In response to this delay, the FAA System Manager officially announced that software build 3.6.4 will not be fielded but rather merged into build 3.7. The plan at this point is for 3.7 to be created as a dual platform build making a move to a Linux operating system feasible. When testing does occur, it will be a huge undertaking because the software will have to be tested on a Windows system, a Linux system, and a mixed-mode (Windows and Linux running together) system.

• Ongoing meetings with both the current and incoming FAA IDSR System Managers.

• Ongoing biweekly Status Meetings.

• Ongoing SIB meetings discussing AIMS reported issues and categorizing and ranking issues toward inclusion in further software builds.