Wed, May 30, 2012
Raytheon Providing Diagnostic Support
For almost an hour on Monday, the Delhi air traffic control center managed to safely land flights at Indira Gandhi International Airport without critical flight data. The problem was a glitch in the flight data processing system (FDPS) which gives all information like the type of aircraft, flight route and origin point – going offline at 1140 local time.
The Times of India reports that ATC officials immediately slowed down the flow of traffic, both incoming and outbound, when the Autotrack III system malfunctioned. "Luckily the radar screen and the very-high-frequency sets used to communicate with pilots did not go dead. So we were able to navigate pilots," said an airport source. "The problem lasted for about an hour but safety was not a concern during this as the back-up FDPS kicked in. Then we rebooted both the systems."
A senior ATC official said that the issue was reported to Raytheon, which designed the FDPS. The official added that ATC staggered departure of aircraft to give more space to incoming flights. However, pilots reported substantial delays. One senior pilot told the paper tat the new ATC system had been "constantly giving troubles at IGI." He said there had been multiple failures of the radars at the airport early this year, and now the FDPS malfunctioned. "AAI (Airports Authority of India) must get the issue examined with Raytheon and DGCA should step in," the pilot said.
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