Aviation

Outages at Sydney Airport cause chaos

Wouldn’t you know it – the day of our 2017 Travel DAZE event all about failure, and Sydney Airport suffers a meltdown that stopped all flights in and out.

Coincidence?

At any rate, travellers’ plans were halted this morning when the air traffic control system of one of the busiest airports in the country failed.

Per the ABCthousands of travellers are facing delays, with Air Services Australia reporting there had been a “system software failure” at Sydney’s air traffic control.

As a result, just 15 planes were able to land and depart per hour using manual air traffic control methods. As the ABC wrote, usually there are 50 movements per hour, so the impact on travel plans and flight schedules has been severe.

Accoridng to the ABC, the fault is related to the flight planning system, which feeds into the radar picture. Without this part of the system, controllers are unable to see which plane is which.

In addition, it’s believed that the data connection between Sydney and our other busiest airport, Melbourne was down this morning also.

Virgin Australia, Qantas and Jetstar confirmed many of their flights were delayed or “closed”, after the “technical issue” struck at about 5am today.

However as of 9am, Sydney Airport reported the issue had been resolved, and now it was a matter of dealing with the backlog of delayed flights.

Qantas reported, “Due to an Air Traffic Control system issue, there are significant delays at Sydney Airport affecting all airlines,” and urged passengers to visit flight status for more information.

Virgin Australia issued a similar statement, adding, “Due to an issue with the Air Traffic Control system at Sydney Airport this morning, there will be an impact to flights operating to and from Sydney today.

“Virgin Australia is working to have all guests on their way as quickly and safely as possible. We will be contacting those guests who may be impacted and we encourage all guests to check the status of their flights here: flightstatus.virginaustralia.com/.

“We thank you for your patience as we work to minimise the disruption to your travel plans.”

Additionally, with regards to the ongoing chaos of Bali’s Mount Agung and the potential volcanic eruption, for travellers to check their flight schedules due to possible disruptions.

“Virgin Australia is closely monitoring activity at Mt Agung in Bali. At present, flights are planned to operate as scheduled, however there may be some delays,” it wrote.

“As a precautionary measure, some of our Bali bound flights will be making fuel stops in Darwin. This ensures that if an eruption occurs while the aircraft is en route, we will be able to get guests back to their originating port safely and quickly.

“We encourage guests booked via travel agents or third parties to ensure Virgin Australia has your mobile number, should we need to contact you in the event of any changes. Please continue to check the flight status page flightstatus.virginaustralia.com/ for the most up to date information.”

Per Nine News, a Melbourne Airport spokesperson said planes due to fly from Melbourne to Sydney were grounded on the tarmac and delays are expected throughout the day.

Sydney Airport reported on Twitter:

However just around 9am, Sydney Airport said the issue had been resolved, however plenty of delays are expected to continue, and on the first day of school holidays, many families are expected to be waiting around a bit longer than they’d bet on.

Image: Twitter Nadine Flood


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