Latest Glitch Lasts 15 Minutes
It wasn't the biggest problem to strike the beleaguered Southern
California Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) but it still
left an impression. On Thursday, a radio outage at the facility
forced three flights to divert from landing at San Diego's
The communications failure -- which only lasted about 15
minutes, reports The Associated Press -- also delayed 18
departures. FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said the agency is
investigating what led to the failure.
Two flights inbound to SAN were diverted to Phoenix, and one to
Los Angeles, according to airport officials.
As ANN reported, the former
Palm Springs TRACON was consolidated into the San Diego facility
(SCT), located near Miramar, last July. One day after the
switchover, the newly-integrated center suffered its first
technical glitch -- the fiber-optic cable connecting the Palm
Springs radar to Miramar went down for 90 minutes, forcing a switch
in control of aerial operations over the Coachella Valley to
While the technical snags appeared, for the most part, to have
been resolved -- at least before Thursday -- controllers at the
center slammed the FAA in August 2007, claiming a shortage of
qualified staff led to a rash of operational errors, that forced a
three-day suspension of training operations at the facility.
That isn't a new argument from the National Air Traffic
Controllers Association, as the union continues its bitter fight
against the agency -- particularly in the court of public opinion
-- over the lack of a contract, and as controllers continue to
retire from the agency at hire numbers than forecast. Still, the
FAA moved quickly to counter NATCA's assertions that SCT wasn't
safe, as ANN reported.
You can bet this latest glitch, minor as it may have been, will
do nothing to quell that dispute.