Members Login
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: Heathrow mid air collision-a disaster waiting to happen


Status: Offline
Posts: 2289
Heathrow mid air collision-a disaster waiting to happen
Permalink Closed

Heathrow mid air collision-a disaster waiting to happen

London, Nov 23 (UNI)

Air traffic controllers at Heathrow, have said that the new computer system installed at the complex, might one day trigger a mid-air crash at the world’s busiest airport.

They have said the Electronic Flight Progress System, which is set to replace the existing control method at the world’s busiest airport in January cannot cope with the sheer volume of traffic at the international air hub.

The jets simply seem to vanish from the new screens, they say.

A controller apparently also sent a letter to BA chief Willie Walsh saying: ‘‘We are totally convinced that if EFPS is installed there will be a major disaster at Heathrow’’.

Nearly all 55 controllers have FAILED advanced training on the 1.5million pound simulator replicating peak traffic. They say vital information is too small to read on screen due to the

Also, badly-designed screens mean planes disappear from view, they add.

Elsewhere, National Air Traffic Services (NATS) bosses refuse to see reason because they claim to have spent tens of millions of pounds on the system.

Controllers have said they will simply slow down traffic flow to a crawl to avoid mistakes, ignoring profit stakes.

Our whistleblower said: ‘‘Senior controllers aren’t just warning that there might be a mistake - they are insisting there will be a crash if this changeover goes ahead’’.

‘‘These people are not militant union types who can’t handle change, they are the creme de la creme of air traffic control. They are scared stiff the money men will railroad them into EFPS because they’ve thrown so much cash at it,’’ The Sun quoted him as saying.

EFPS - designed by Canadian firm NavCanada - has been adopted successfully at Gatwick, Stansted and Luton. But they have less traffic than Heathrow and operate longer at night and never deal with the intensity of traffic Heathrow controllers manage, which can be more than 100 movements an hour.

Staffs are set to start using the system when they move into a display screens are meant to reduce verbal contact and will replace Heathrow’s existing ‘‘paper strips’’ method.

Our controller further said: ‘‘This system was designed nearly ten years ago and air traffic has increased hugely since then.

‘‘At busy periods, planes fall off the screen. One experienced controller has already presided over a crash over the Channel in training. Controllers want to fail themselves but the NavCanada trainers keep telling them they will be OK,’’ he added.

‘‘It would be madness to ignore the people who have to use this system. The result would be disaster,’’ he said.

Elsewhere, NATS said they would ‘‘never introduce a system unless it was safe’’.

‘‘Training has been under way for more than a year and the majority of our controllers have passed. No one will be forced to use the equipment unless they are confident to do so. The system is used at 15 airports in Canada, including the multi-runway Toronto, which handles as many flights as Heathrow,’’ he said.

Page 1 of 1  sorted by
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Tweet this page Post to Digg Post to

Create your own FREE Forum
Report Abuse
Powered by ActiveBoard