Delhi’s airspace goes blind on R-Day

A major scare gripped the IGI Airport after the radar system failed once again.

Updated: Jan 27, 2010, 12:20 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: On a day when the national capital was given an unprecedented security cover in the wake of terror threat to the Republic Day parade, a major scare gripped the Indira Gandhi International Airport here after the radar system failed once again.

According to reports, half past midnight on Tuesday the radar screens at IGI Airport`s ATC tower went blank. It was the second time in less than two weeks that the radar system collapsed at IGI Airport.

A newspaper today quoted sources as saying that several radar screens went blank, giving ATC personnel cold feet on a day when the threat of an air-borne terror attack was highest ever.

Sources said when the system failed, more than 12 planes were airborne in Delhi’s skies. It is believed that the system remained shut for over three hours.

According to a source, two consoles and both area control radars went blank by 1:45 am. The source added that only one console was in working condition at that time. The traffic in the airspace and important information like aircraft speed, height and call-signs are displayed on consoles.

The situation on Tuesday midnight was not as bad as on January 14 when all the radar screens blanked out for nearly three hours.

A DGCA probe is already underway into the previous radar system crash.