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

Oshkosh Day One

Oshkosh Day Two

Oshkosh Day Three

Airborne 07.21.16

Airborne 07.22.16

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Oshkosh Day One

Oshkosh Day Two

Oshkosh Day Three

Airborne 07.21.16

Airborne 07.22.16

Tweet Us The Coolest Things You See @OSH16!
#OSH16Coolest!

It's Alive!: AirVenture 2016 Innovation Preview on Vimeo!

It's Alive!: AirVenture 2016 Innovation Preview on YouTube!

 

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

Airborne 07.26.16-Oshkosh Day 2: Solar Impulse, Sun Flyer, Stemme S-12

Also: AEA $$Giveaway$$, LAM Aviation, Able Flight, Jack Pelton On Aero-Medical Reform We start our report this morning with something that has very little to do with the EAA AirVen>[...]

ONE Aviation Provides Singular Support For Coverage of AirVenture 2016!

ONE Aviation: Let’s Fly Together ONE Aviation delivers innovative access to general aviation by bringing together a line of products suited to the missions and budgets of ind>[...]

It's ALIVE! 2016 AirVenture Innovation Preview Program Debuting RIGHT NOW!

Get The EARLY Inside Details On THE Most Exciting NEW Innovations And Product Announcements From OSHKOSH... The staff of EAA and the Aero-News Network are pleased to announce that >[...]

Only Sporty's!!! Sporty's Pilot Shop Helps ANN Cover Oshkosh 2016!

Sporty's Pilot Shop Is A Pivotal GA Resource! Sporty’s Pilot Shop was founded over 50 years ago by a flight instructor, and ever since has been for pilots and by pilots. Hal >[...]

Aspen Avionics, True Innovators, Present OSH2016 Special Event Coverage!

OSH2016 Sponsor: Always-Innovative Aspen Avionics Based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Aspen Avionics specializes in bringing the most advanced display and sensor technology from the >[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2016 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC