|According to the official, when the incident occurred, the Southern Region Air Traffic Services Company immediately took control of all planes within the HCM City FIR to ensure safety. — Photo vietnamnet
HA NOI (VNS)— The power outage at the Ho Chi Minh City Area Control Centre (AACC Ho Chi Minh) at Tan Son Nhat Airport on Thursday was an extremely serious technical failure that had never occurred in the country, head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Viet Nam (CAAV) Lai Xuan Thanh said yesterday.
The power went out at 11:05am and remained out for 35 minutes, disabling the radar system controlling air traffic and affecting at least 54 flights that were within the city's flight information region (FIR) at that time.
Some of these flights had to return to their departure airports or land at nearby airports, while other flights had to be delayed. Economic losses caused by the incident were not yet calculated, the CAAV leader said.
The initial reason for this incident was the breakdown of all three uninterruptible power supply (UPS) devices.
According to the official, when the incident occurred, the Southern Region Air Traffic Services Company immediately took control of all planes within the HCM City FIR to ensure safety.
The CAAV asked the Viet Nam Flight Management Corporation to suspend two people from the HCM City Area Control Centre for investigation.
An experienced pilot said there was little chance of planes colliding because they would maintain their heights due to inability to reach the control tower. However, a crash was likely to happen if the planes were told to change their heights and suddenly lost contact with the control tower.
Le Trong Sanh, former flight control manager at Tan Son Nhat airport, blamed air traffic controllers for not having backup generators, as well as the electricity supplier for cutting the power.
Lack of coordination in flight control has caused several near-collisions recently. Last month, a civil plane almost crashed into a military helicopter at Tan Son Nhat airport.—VNS