Local banks say there's no reason to fear

By Clyde Pack
Staff Writer

The greatest concern in transportation as it regards Y2K is apparently in air travel. The uncertainty of whether or not computers will function properly as the final seconds of 1999 tick away has many would-be travelers a little antsy.

But even the nay sayers who feel there is indeed reason to be concerned are not predicting major disasters causing planes to fall from the sky. The biggest problem, if one does indeed occur, will be in scheduling.

Apparently, the major worry is the possible shutdown of the host computer which ties together air traffic control centers across the country that control aircraft after they leave the airports. Such a shutdown could cause delays as planes are put into holding ,patterns.

Some older computers viewed dates in a two-digit format &endash;&endash; "99" for 1999 &endash;&endash; causing concern they will malfunction as the new century begins. Computers that have not been properly updated may construe the new "00" as 1900 instead of 2000.

But, after spending three years preparing for the problem, and enlisting approximately 1,100 in-house experts to work on the date change, on July 23 the Depart-ment of Transpor-tation announced that the FAA is completely Year 2000-compliant.

Locally, Amy Ad-kins, customer service agent for Comair, which along with USAir serves the Tri-State Airport in Kenova, West Vir-ginia, said recently that Comair had been working for nearly a year to ensure service as usual, and that the airline was Y2K-compliant.

"Everything is A-Okay," she said.

Computer glitches could also possibly affect train schedules, but few problems are expected in day-to-day automobile travel. Fuel delivery is expected to occur on schedule.

Those who still feel uncomfortable about travel should perhaps spend their New Year's Eve at home watching TV as the ball drops in Times Square.