HA NOI (VNS) — A manual error by a technician caused last Thursday's power outage at the flight control system in HCM City's Tan Son Nhat International Airport, according to the Viet Nam Air Traffic Management Corporation.
The corporation has blamed Le Tri Tinh, a technician working for the Southern Region Air Traffic Services Company, for the system breakdown at the Ho Chi Minh Area Control Centre (HCM ACC), the Dan Tri online newspaper reported yesterday.
Tinh did not follow due procedures and shut down the broken Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) device without disconnecting it from the system, causing the outage, the report said.
His action also cut power supply to two other UPS devices and the control system, and control centre was unable to monitor flights for an hour and a half.
Lai Xuan Thanh, Director of the Civil Aviation Authority of Viet Nam (CAAV), said that HCM ACC has three UPS devices and a power backup system.
Thanh said that power for the control centre, provided by the national grid and generators, had to be transmitted through the UPS devices, which were set up in parallel to ensure that at least one would keep the system running when there is a power cut.
The broken UPS device was found when the technical department tried to run generators on schedule to check their condition, he said.
The Viet Nam Air Traffic Management Corporation had suspended five officials while it investigated the incident, including Le Tri Tinh and Tran Cong, Deputy Director of the Southern Region Air Traffic Services Company for Technical Management.
Commenting on the incident, Lai Xuan Thanh, CAAV Director, said, "40 per cent of Vietnamese controllers are either average or poor performers in flight control."
He added that only 70 per cent of Vietnamese controllers had achieved the English skills standard set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
His agency will organise more training courses in English and professional skills for all controllers so that they are able to deal with unexpected problems, Thanh said.
Those who are unable to acquire the needed skills would be transferred to other assignments not directly involved in flight control, he added. — VNS