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Passengers vent on social media after radar failure causes shutdown of Lisbon airspace

in News · 01-11-2018 10:20:00 · 0 Comments

Air traffic in the Portuguese capital was widely restricted for a number of hours on Sunday night after a problem with the air traffic control radar caused delays and diversions.

Passengers vent on social media after radar failure causes shutdown of Lisbon airspace

Air traffic over Lisbon was limited when the airport’s radar systems were completely down for around half an hour on Sunday night, which had knock-on effects spanning several hours.
Due to the problem, some incoming flights had to be diverted, while a number of departing flights were stuck on the tarmac for long periods until the snag was sorted.
Air traffic control managers NAV – Navigation of Portugal told Lusa News Agency that the system had suffered “total radar failure from 7.40pm to 8.08pm affecting the conventional control method”.
NAV explained: “All traffic that was inside the Lisbon Flight Information Region (RIV)” had already landed, and “the traffic that was still flying over the adjacent RIVs diverged to other airports”, plus “there were no take-offs”.
The system was properly recovered at around 8.46pm, after which flights slowly returned to normal, but not before many passengers affected by the issue took to social media to vent their frustration at reportedly not having a clue why they were stuck on the planes.
At around 9pm, the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, commonly known as Eurocontrol, announced on social media site Twitter: “Problem with radar at #Lisboa airport is resolved. Traffic should normalise within a little while. Delays are expected on all flights coming from the North and some from the West”.
Aviation website airlive.net said airspace in Lisbon would be “unavailable” until 11pm, yet according to passenger posts on social media, flights were still being affected until as late as midnight.
National flag carrier TAP confirmed the radar failure in a post in response to a passenger’s query on social media, saying: “There is a failure of radar control at Lisbon airport that does not allow planes to take-off or land.
“All efforts are being made to solve the problem as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding”.
Affected passengers, a number of whom saw their flights diverted after also being delayed at their points of departure, were quick to voice their frustrations, some hitting out at an apparent lack of information.
A passenger on a TAP flight to Brazil said: “No information here in Lisbon about our cancelled 2553 flight to Sau Paulo [sic]. We waited in plane 4 hours and all being patient. PLEASE TELL US WHAT TO DO! Business class?! Haha”.
Another, posting on Twitter, vented: “What’s going on in Lisbon? Crew on your TP1361 flight seem to be a little clueless - we’ve currently been grounded at Porto for 30 mins after a 2 hour delay in London. What’s going on?”
By the end of Sunday night, operations at Lisbon airport had gradually returned to normal.

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Edition 1500
10 November 2018
Edition: 1500

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

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