The Civil Aviation Department has asked the contractor of the new Air Traffic Management System to submit a full report by next week and provide a permanent solution after the main system’s Flight Data Processors experienced a momentary glitch today.
A department spokesperson said: “At 11:28am today, the ATMS issued an alert stating that the FDPs were not functioning properly. Most of the flights had their full information shown on radar screens, except for a few which could only show their positions and altitudes information.”
The department said once the Fallback System took up the role of the Main System, the Air Traffic Management System operated as normal.
The department said media sources who suggested a large number of flights went missing from the radar screens were factually incorrect.
It said all flight targets were continuously displayed on radar screens throughout the incident.
Air Traffic Control Officers were able to keep direct voice communications with pilots at all times and obtain all flight information through Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast technology.
The department said departing flights were delayed for about 15 minutes as a precaution, but arrivals and flights flying through the Hong Kong Flight Information Region were not affected.
The incident did not affect aviation safety, it added.
An initial investigation suggests the glitch was caused by Air Traffic Control Officers inputting too many personal settings while using the system.