There was major chaos this morning after a complete radar failure at Australia’s busiest airport. Air Traffic Controllers had to land planes manually, severely reducing the amount of landings. Manual landings can see 15 movements per hour compared to an average 50 movements per hour when there no radar issues. The fault, now corrected, was a system software failure that failed to convert operations from night shift to day shift. This led to only one console working instead of the usual six to eight.
Airservices statement regarding software issue affecting Sydney Airport
Airservices experienced a software issue affecting Sydney Airport’s air traffic control and management system, resulting in major disruptions to flight operations this morning.
The software fault failed to convert from night-shift operations to day-shift operations, consequently one air traffic control console was operational for the morning peak when in normal circumstances six to eight consoles are operating.
The safety of the travelling public is our first priority and traffic capacity was reduced to maintain safety standards.
The fault has now been rectified, and Airservices is now working to resume to normal operations and clear the backlog of flights. Airservices is confident that it was not a cyber incident, it was a software failure.
The back log of flights is expected to be cleared by early afternoon. Airservices is urging passengers to contact their airline for details of their flight status.