Air traffic control flop: PKR wants gov't to explain

  • Now, Putrajaya denies giving RM100 million grant to bank-rejected firm

    Putrajaya today denied that it had awarded NSE Resources Corporation Malaysia Sdn Bhd (NSERC) a RM100 million grant, as claimed by a PKR leader. Malaysiakini reported that Deputy Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Abu Bakar Mohd Diah today revealed the list of grant recipients by his ministry. The list, which has more than... …

  • Obama to seek fresh start with Malaysia in overdue visit
    Obama to seek fresh start with Malaysia in overdue visit

    Barack Obama will this weekend become the first US president to visit Malaysia for nearly 50 years, seeking to put decades of uneasy relations behind him as both cast wary eyes on a rising China. Obama – who visits Saturday-Monday – is expected to tout the US's friendship with the economically thriving moderate Muslim nation. As one of... …

  • Malaysian jailed 8 weeks for Singapore border dash

    A Malaysian motorist who tried to dodge Singapore's border control has been jailed for eight weeks after a judge rejected his pleas that he was lost and overheating in his car, officials said today. Koh Chin Had, a 42-year-old poultry seller, tailgated another car passing through a raised barrier on April 13, triggering a security lockdown on... …

  • PKR denies holding prayers for 'martyr' Karpal

    PKR has denied that it will hold a 'thanksgiving' ceremony as well as prayers for 'martyred' DAP lawmaker Karpal Singh at PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim's home tomorrow. This followed two widely circulated e-posters promoting the event online, bearing the logo of Anwar's fan club, the Anwar Ibrahim Club (AIC). "Example of Umno lies," Anwar tweeted when asked about the event said to be prayers for " syuhadah (martyr) Karpal". The poster features Anwar raising his hand in prayer behind …

  • KL school not allowed as Karpal memorial venue

    The Education Department has rejected the use of a school in Kuala Lumpur for a memorial service for Karpal Singh as it is perceived as a political event, said its organisers DAP in a press conference today. The memorial service was scheduled to be held tomorrow night at SJK(C) Chung Kwo near Jalan Loke Yew, Kuala Lumpur, said acting DAP chairperson Tan Kok Wai. …

  • Student group not happy over Obama’s Universiti Malaya visit
    Student group not happy over Obama’s Universiti Malaya visit

    Student group Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia (SMM) is against US President Barack Obama's (pic) scheduled visit to Universiti Malaya on Sunday where he is expected to host a town hall session with young leaders from Southeast Asia. In a statement, the student group said that this was because Obama had disappointed many quarters, including... …

The Kuala Lumpur Air Traffic Control Centre reportedly went blind last week, suffering "total failure in the system with no radar, no radio frequencies", putting airborne planes and passengers at risk as there was no guidance from ground air traffic controllers.

This was revealed by opposition party PKR today.

Party leaders showed the press what they claimed are copies of the Department of Civil Aviation's (DCA) system log and interim report by the systems maintenance contractor on the alleged 2.50 am crisis on Sept 12.

"In the aviation industry where safety is a zero defect matter, even a near miss like this is equivalent to a total disaster," PKR vice-president Tian Chua warned.

He said this at a press conference in front of the Kuala Lumpur Air Traffic Control Centre in Subang, this morning.

The incident report issued by the systems maintenance contractor blamed faulty and obsolete circuit breakers that tripped the entire system.

The power failure rendered inoperable the air traffic center's radar system, which monitors aircraft in it's sector, as well as radio communications it used to issue instructions to the planes.

The documents reported that the backup radar and radio systems also failed to come online and that the backup power and uninterruptable power supply (UPS) also failed.

Incompetent technicians?

According to the system log, overflight control for all aircraft in area controlled by the Kuala Lumpur Air Traffic Control Center had to be passed to the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) airforce base at Butterworth, while local departures were halted and inbound international traffic from nearby Changi, Don Mueng and Soekarno-Hatta international airports had to be refused for the one hour and fifteen minutes of the system failure.

Former RMAF operations director Brigadier General (retired) Abdul Hadi Abdul Khattab, who was also at the press conference today, said that based on his experience with air traffic control systems, such an incident "is highly dangerous" as it puts planes under control of the air traffic control center at risk of in-air collisions and running out of fuel.

He described that planes waiting to land in air traffic control zones are instructed to fly in a pre-defined circuit or "tracks" sometimes one after the other.

Each track are then stacked one on top of the other with planes arranged on different altitudes or height.

Such a delicate balance, he cautioned, must be orchestrated carefully by ground control to ensure the safety of all involved.

He is also skeptical that the entirety of the critical system could be taken down by faulty wiring or circuit breakers.

"Are their technicians so incompetent?" the former air force staff officer asked.

The party is calling for answers from the DCA and the Transport Ministry on how such a near disaster could have taken place.

"And now one of our biggest fears have come true with the total failure of the system that was only supposed to - according to the DCA - encounter minor glitches," lamented fellow party vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar.

'Were contracts given to inadequate crony companies?'

PKR wants the government and the DCA to answer:

How could such a critical system not be coupled with reliable and redundancy backups. Why the main power, UPS and other backup power all failed at the same time. What will the Transport Ministry and the DCA do to prevent a recurrence of such serious mishaps.

Another PKR vice-president, N Surendran ( left )questioned if the failures were the result of technically incompetent crony companies being given contracts despite being inadequately qualified for the job.

PKR had been attacking what they claimed was substandard air traffic control system being used by the DCA from direct award contracts, which they claimed benefits a crony company owned by the family of a minister-level federal official.

Last week's alleged total system failure at the air traffic control facility underscored their fears and punctuated their claims.

When contacted over the matter, DCA director-general Azharuddin Abdul Rahman reserved comments until he has looked into the incident and considered PKR's allegations.



Follow @YahooMalaysia on LINE for daily news updates.

Comments on Yahoo pages are subject to our link to Comments Guidelines. You are responsible for any content that you post. Yahoo is not responsible or liable in any way for comments posted by its users. Yahoo does not in any way endorse or support comments made by its users.

  • MH370 passenger’s partner tells of strange email from sacked Fox officer The Malaysian Insider
    MH370 passenger’s partner tells of strange email from sacked Fox officer

    The partner of an American passenger aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has spoken about how a Fox executive who was recently sacked by the news station had contacted her offering to raise funds on her behalf. Sarah Bajc, whose partner Philip Wood is among the 239 people on board the missing plane, told the Sydney Morning Herald... …

  • MB: Only 29 days of water left in Selangor Malaysiakini

    Although heavy rain led to flash floods in parts of the Klang Valley yesterday, the Selangor government has said that taps will run completely dry in 29 days if rationing is not continued. "For now, we must continue with rationing as the level at the main dam, the Sungai Selangor dam, is below the critical level and can only last 29 days if rationing is not conducted," Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said in a statement.   "We really hope the rakyat understands this situation and supports …

  • Dr Ling’s son chose wine over woman, court hears The Malaysian Insider
    Dr Ling’s son chose wine over woman, court hears

    The son of former MCA president Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik today reached an out of court settlement with his ex-girlfriend in a breach of contract suit over seven properties registered under their joint names. Ling Hee Leong and businesswoman Teh Chee Yen agreed to settle out of court after he took the stand briefly and testified that he had chosen... …