Orly airport down due to Windows 3.1

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Image 1: Orly airport down due to Windows 3.1

Orly airport experienced a major blackout on Saturday, November 7, which led several planes to remain grounded for several hours. The airport quickly explained that it was a computer failure in the control towers, and more specifically concerning the computers responsible for monitoring the weather data, but we later discovered that these computers in question were operating under an antediluvian system: Windows 3.1.

It is the Canard Enchaîné, in its edition of November 11, which revealed this detail which is important: the computers that broke down last Saturday at Orly were indeed weather stations using the Decor software, a program working with Windows 3.1. The system, launched in 1992 by Microsoft, is more than obsolete: the latest stable version was released in late 1993, and support was officially discontinued by the publisher in 2001, almost 14 years ago.

This 23-year-old system therefore ended up snapping between Paris airports (the same software being used for Orly and Roissy), thus preventing planes from leaving the ground for part of the day. And the situation could happen again in the next few months, Orly airport only planned to upgrade its IT equipment in 2017. Hopefully, this will be to install something closer to Windows 10.