FAA Computer Glitch Knocked Out Electronic Flight Information

"Why did it take four hours to locate a seemingly small technical problem, and why did it have a system-wide effect?" asked Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Ill., member of the House Transportation Committee, in a statement. The committee is expected to ask the Department of Transportation to investigate today's incident.

VIDEO: Flight 447 airspeed
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The FAA says a contractor -- the Harris Corporation -- is responsible for maintaining the equipment which included the failed circuit board, and investigators will likely focus on the group's role in the nation's air traffic system.

Mark Raimondi, a Harris Corp. spokesman, told ABC News, "We're working with the FAA to evaluate the interruption in order to prevent similar outages in the future... Safety and security are the highest priority."

Experts say today's incident also represents a failure of redundancy in the system, which is supposed to prevent outages from being debilitating.

"I think a single point of failure is a concern," said Santore. "You need to ensure that as more and more technology takes over for the human beings, that there are fail-safes in placeā€¦. All these different computer systems need to be replaced. They need to be updated. They need to be modernized."

 Video: Elderly women fined by the FAA for disorderly conduct.
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The FAA is developing plans to transition from a ground-based system of air traffic control to a satellite-based system of air traffic management. But that system is not expected to be implemented until 2018.

ABC News' Harvey Goldberg contributed to this report.

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