A famously challenging field of Software and Hardware engineering. Some of the issues which make it challenging include:

  • the need for 24/7 operation
  • the large number of lives at risk
  • the large economic cost of failures
  • the large number of asynchronous, autonomous agents being controlled
  • the need to continue operations in the face of bad weather, multiple equipment failures, criminal and military action
  • the need to coordinate with other air traffic control centers
  • the complete abscence of safe FailureModes