Cyprus News | Ercan Air Traffic Control Allegedly Develops Fault

Cyprus News | Ercan Air Traffic Control Allegedly Develops FaultAccording to Cyprus Mail (27.11.14) a Pegasus flight allegedly veered off course on Tuesday and flew over the south’s presidential palace due to a fault in the VOR air traffic control system at Ercan airport. This failure, along with bad weather, apparently caused the Boeing 737-800 to fly at a low altitude over the palace, at around noon on Tuesday. An official said it was thought that:

“The pilot probably got scared of the bad weather and veered towards Nicosia a little more than usual. This is expected since their VOR system went down.”

On October 1st, Ercan temporarily disabled the airport’s VHF Omni Directional Radio Range (VOR) navigational system, the ground short-range radio that enables aircraft to determine their position and stay on course by receiving radio signals. This meant that pilots have had to fly by sight when taking off and landing resulting in aircraft flying off their usual course. The VOR was supposed to be operational by early November.

“Pilots employ visual flight. When taking off from Ercan they have to pass over the Pentadaktylos mountains and without a ground navigational system they tend to veer a little to the left so they can gain more altitude when they approach the mountain. That’s why some people reported seeing more planes,” said the official.

Airplanes flying to the north do not submit their flight plan to Eurocontrol, the organisation based in Brussels that coordinates air traffic control for all of Europe, but submit it directly to Ercan. Air traffic at Ercan comes exclusively from Turkey. DCA recorded 170 take offs and landings at the airport from January to May this year.

If I was a suspicious person I would believe that a propaganda war has started and that this Cyprus Mail article was there to frighten off the potential pre-New Year holiday traffic.

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