Irish airspace reopens as investigation begins into radar failure

3 Oct 2018240 Views

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A map of southern Irish airspace. Image: ivosar/Depositphotos

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Glitch blamed for grounding of flights to and from two Irish airports.

A technical issue occurred with a radar system in Shannon, grounding flights in Irish airspace to and from Cork and Shannon airports. Dublin Airport was unaffected.

Last night (2 October) at around 10.45pm IST, the Irish Aviation Authority (IIA) confirmed that a technical issue occurred with the Shannon air traffic control (ATC) system.

‘The Dublin ATC is independent of the Shannon system. The technical issue is with the IAA’s Shannon-based system, which also services Cork – hence the earlier impact on Shannon and Cork’
– IRISH AVIATION AUTHORITY

It is understood the radar problem affected all flights coming from the west and south of Ireland, preventing flights from being processed by the ATC. It is understood that Dublin’s proximity to the UK’s ATC systems enabled flights to take off and land normally.

System failure

“Safety is the IAA’s main priority and, in accordance with normal procedure, the IAA restricted air traffic while the issue was being investigated. Flights to and from Shannon and Cork were affected by the restriction. Dublin was not affected,” the authority said.

“The technical issue is with the IAA’s Shannon-based system, which also services Cork – hence the earlier impact on Shannon and Cork. The investigation into the technical issue is ongoing and, as part of planned contingency, services continue to be operated on backup systems.”

Relying on the backup system, flight restrictions were eventually lifted, with traffic flows restored to normal capacity.

Both Shannon and Cork Airports confirmed that flights have resumed, albeit at a slower pace. Passengers travelling to and from Shannon and Cork airports are being urged to check the status of their flights with airlines.

At around 12.45am this morning (3 October), the IAA confirmed that Dublin flights were operating normally.

A map of southern Irish airspace. Image: ivosar/Depositphotos

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com