Birmingham Controllers Latest To Be Left In The Dark | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Airborne On ANN

Airborne 03.30.15

Airborne 03.31.15

Airborne 04.01.15

Airborne 03.26.15

Airborne 03.27.15

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 03.30.15

Airborne 03.31.15

Airborne 04.01.15

Airborne 03.26.15

Airborne 03.27.15

 

Sat, Feb 17, 2007

Birmingham Controllers Latest To Be Left In The Dark

January 17 Radar Outage Delayed Flights More Than Five Hours

Air traffic controllers in Birmingham, AL continue to butt heads with the FAA over the severity of a radar outage last month, that snarled flights for over five hours.

Local NATCA president Scott Pressley told the Birmingham News "safety was definitely compromised" when radar scopes at the Birmingham TRACON went blank at 4:45 pm January 17. The outage, which the paper states also affected the tower at BHM, delayed 15 departing flights and many arrivals.

FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen disputes Pressley's assertions. "Controllers are trained for any contingency," she said. "They do an outstanding job at Birmingham and throughout the system."

"When FAA says that safety wasn't compromised, it trivializes what we do as their traffic controllers," Pressley replied. "And safety was definitely compromised and it was the air traffic controllers and the compliance of the pilots that ensured the safety that day, not the FAA."

Pressley also states there is no true "backup" radar available... because controllers have used that secondary system since the airport's primary radar went down last month. That backup system only covers 50 miles; once the area's two long-range antennas are returned to operation, they will cover a 200-mile radius.

Bergen states Birmingham's primary system will be up and running later this month.

Making matters worse that night, Pressley says, is an apparent discrepancy between backup operations for Birmingham, and Atlanta Center -- which is supposed to "take over our air space and we just run the tower."

"They wouldn't take the air space," Pressley said, speaking of en route controllers, "so we had to continue running that air space without the radar when they could see it perfectly well. The controllers in Atlanta knew how unsafe the situation was and they were trying to help us ... and their managers wouldn't allow them to help us. We kind of had to make up the rules as we went."

Bergen replies the agreement requires Atlanta Center to handle airspace above 7,000 feet in the event of a failure at Birmingham. She says controllers in Alabama are well-versed with nonradar procedures in the area, so "the decision was made that they could implement the nonradar procedures for flights below 7,000 feet. The controllers in Atlanta could not work nonradar at those low altitudes."

A rash of radar system failures affected flights recently in such areas as Southern California, Chicago, and south Florida.

FMI: www.faa.gov, www.natca.org

Advertisement

More News

04.01.15 Special: New Apple Watch May Eliminate Medical Exams For Airline Pilots

Combining The Capabilities Of Apple Technology And ADS-B Out May Replace Airline Pilot Medicals, But There Could Be A Catch ANN's April 1 "April Fool" Special Edition As the Pilots>[...]

04.01.15 Special: Inhofe -- Media Reporting On Aviation Should Be Knowledgeable

Proposes Legislation To Have Journalists Pass A Basic Written Exam ANN’s April 1 “April Fools” Special Edition Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) has proposed legislatio>[...]

04.01.15 Special: Regional Airline Looks To Undocumented Immigrants

Carrier Says Americans Unwilling To Take The Jobs At What It Can Afford To Pay ANN’s April 1 “April Fool” Edition It may just be the tip of the iceberg, but Repub>[...]

04.01.15 Special: Roscosmos Sues Boeing, SpaceX

Tries To Prevent Launches From Returning To American Soil The Russian Space Agency Roscosmos has filed a lawsuit in a Russian court against Boeing and SpaceX, saying the two U.S. c>[...]

Airborne 04.01.15: April 1st Special Episode!, David Bowie In Space, New TBirds!

Also: Inhofe Demands Media Aero-Accountability, "Super Duper" Cub, RANS' Exclusive WalMart Deal, Obama To Keep Air Force One, Cessna Bringing Back Bamboo Bomber Pop-star legend, Da>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2015 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC