Aviation AO-2000-012

Temporary loss of air traffic control communications system, Christchurch main trunk air traffic services centre, 25 October 2000
Status: Closed
Legacy Inquiry Number: 
00-012
Occurrence Date: 
25 October 2000
Report Publication Date: 
27 April 2001
Jurisdiction: NZ
On Wednesday 25 October 2000 at 1936, the Christchurch main trunk air traffic services centre communications system experienced an unanticipated complete power loss during non routine maintenance. The power loss caused a loss of normal radio and telephone communications to the centre for several minutes. Each terminal controller and the controllers for 2 of the 5 area sectors had independent battery powered radios available. Independent telephone links and all radar information to the centre remained operational.

A subsequent modification to the system should prevent a similar occurrence.

Safety issues identified were the availability of independent telephones and the emergency section of the Instrument Flight Guide not containing information for pilots in the event of a loss of air traffic control communications. A safety recommendation concerning independent telephones was made to the Airways Corporation of New Zealand Limited. The Civil Aviation Authority had accepted a prior safety recommendation for the Instrument Flight Guide to include information regarding a loss of air traffic control communications, but the recommendation had not been implemented at the time of the incident. The authority advised it was taking action to ensure implementation of the prior recommendation.
Related Safety Recommendation(s):
Location: 
Christchurch ATC Centre (-43.4953,172.5584) [may be approximate]