OR Tambo radar problems caused by upgrade

Thursday morning’s radar problems at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg were caused by the upgrade of the main navigation aid, the company managing the work said.

A temporary navigation aid was installed as part of the replacement and upgrade of the main navigation aid, said Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) spokesperson Anna Sanfilippo.

Installing the temporary system was scheduled to take place at midnight and was expected to last two-and-a-half hours, explained Sanfilippo.

“Due to unexpected and unforeseen difficulties, this process took longer than planned and was completed at 5.50am, resulting in delays which were communicated to all stakeholders and the impact mitigated via contingency plans.”

Airports Company South Africa spokesperson Solomon Makgale said the radar system had failed at about 5.30am and this meant that domestic air traffic was parked during that period at the airport.

The knock-on effect means delays throughout the day for domestic flights at that airport.

ATNS said the new navigational aid facility had now been included in the Air Traffic Management System data and all services were operational.

Makgale recommended that travellers check with their airline to confirm departure and arrival times.—Sapa

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