Sydney Airport flights grounded by air traffic control outage

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Sydney Airport flights grounded by air traffic control outage

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Sydney Airport flights grounded by air traffic control outage

By Ofonime Essien

Sydney Airport outage

Passengers have been told air traffic control had suffered a “power outage”. Photo: Bloomberg

An outage at Sydney Airport air traffic control has grounded flights to and from the country’s largest airport.

The systems were down from about 5.20am Monday, as thousands of passengers converged on the airport at the start of school holidays.

All flights out of Sydney have been delayed until further notice.

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Some arrivals have been able to land, but all services to Sydney from Melbourne have not been boarded, with passengers told air traffic control had suffered a “power outage”.

Domestic flights heading to Sydney from all destinations are being delayed.

Passengers at Sydney were being advised to board their planes but then had to wait on the tarmac. A number of flights were cancelled.

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Airline staff said only 15 planes could land per hour. Under normal circumstances, a maximum of 80 aircraft arrivals and departures per operational hour is allowed.

About three hours after the outage, planes were gradually allowed to take off from Sydney but passengers were advised to expect delays.

It is believed the problem relates to the flight planning system which feeds into the radar picture. Without it, air traffic controllers cannot distinguish which plane is which.

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An Airservices Australia spokeswoman confirmed it was suffering “technical issues” but could not specify what had gone wrong.

The government body, which manages airspace across the country, was still able to “manage air traffic safely”, she said.

A Sydney Airport spokeswoman said passengers should check with their airline to see if their flight is affected.

A Melbourne Airport spokesman said that they did not know of any cancellations, but confirmed that some flights were being held due to the outage at Sydney airport.

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A spokeswoman for Virgin Australia said: “All¬†flights at Sydney Airport are currently grounded until further notice due to an air traffic control issue. We are working to have all guests on their way as quickly and safely as possible once the issue is rectified. We will be contacting those guests who may be impacted but we encourage all guests to check the flight status page.”

Passengers on a Virgin flight waiting to depart Sydney were told that the outage had affected email communication as well as the radar. The plane’s captain told passengers flight plans were being submitted by fax before being processed manually by air traffic control staff.

Grounded passengers took to social media to express their frustration with the lack of information being provided about flights.

(WA Today)

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About Author

Ofonime Essien

Mr. Ofonime A. Essien, is a Helicopter Pilot. He is also a Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA), Oracle Certified Associate (OCA), a Computer Forensics Expert, a Blogger, Web Master, a Writer and an Entrepreneur.

He is an avid reader. He likes motivating others to achieve their dreams through writing and speaking.

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