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Information Display System Replacement Program (IDSR)

Tiffany McBride 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 41terminal 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 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: 

  • Portland (PDX) continues to be a work in progress. New cables are on hand and awaiting install at the National Weather Service to correct the incomplete weather during Microprocessor EnRoute Automated Radar Tracking System (Micro-EARTS) reports at remote facilities. No known incomplete reports have occurred since the install of the monitor cable in early December 2020. The IDSR Team and PDX local TechOps continue to work with the National Weather Service (NWS) and Portland Tracon (P80).  
  • A kickoff meeting to begin testing build 3.6.5 went well. The build was specifically designed for Southern California Tracon (SCT)’s jumbo network. SCT experienced a large outage during a routine chart cycle upload. Remote testing is scheduled for March 15 through 25. If testing of 3.6.5 is successful, install will be scheduled for April/May 2021. 
  • While the FAA continues 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 late 2021. In response to this delay the FAA IDSR team has merged the build that is ready for testing (3.6.4) with the next builds (3.7 and now 3.8). The time frame should allow all of the building and compiling work to be completed prior to Technical Center access and will also allow the program to procure an official FAA license to a Linux platform. Build 3.8 was created as a dual platform build making the possible move to Linux more manageable. 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 biweekly Status Meetings and Technical Interchange Meetings (TIM) discussing the future merging with and transition to EIDS. 
  • Ongoing SIB meetings discussing AIMS reported issues to categorize and rank issues for inclusion in further software builds. 
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