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Safety fears as JNIA radar breaks down

Discussion in 'Habari na Hoja mchanganyiko' started by BAK, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    Aug 17, 2012
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    [TD="class: contentheading, width: 100%"]Safety fears as JNIA radar breaks down [/TD]
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    [TD="class: createdate"] Thursday, 16 August 2012 22:42 [/TD]
    By Lucas Liganga
    The Citizen Chief Reporter
    Dar es Salaam

    How safe are Tanzanian skies? This is the inevitable billion-shilling question following the breakdown of the radar at Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) earlier this month.Reliable sources told The Citizen yesterday that the radar, which is used to detect the presence, direction, distance and speed of aircraft, had been out of service since August 3.

    “The radar experienced power supply failure since August 3, rendering it useless. If this situation continues for long, major airlines will stop flying to this airport for safety reasons,” one of the sources at JNIA said.
    Major airlines that fly to and from JNIA include British Airways, Qatar Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Swiss International Airlines, Emirates, South African Airways and Ethiopian Airlines.

    Contacted for comment yesterday, the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) Director General, Mr Fadhili Manongi, said: “We will issue a statement on the matter. I think the ministry (of Transport) will issue a statement today (yesterday). Please be patient.”

    The sources said air traffic controllers at the airport had for the past two weeks been using procedural control, which is a method of providing air traffic control services without the use of radar.

    They said the method was unpopular with most pilots, who are used to radar and the Global Positioning System (GPS).
    “With radar, an air traffic controller can see all planes flying in our airspace on the screen. Without this facility, air traffic controllers are reduced to relying on guesswork, which is very dangerous,” a source said.

    The sources said a spare part for the radar’s power supply system could only be supplied by BAE Systems, a British multinational defence, security and aerospace company based in London.

    The TCAA was alerted about the radar’s defective power supply in 2010, but no action was taken.
    Investigations by The Citizen have established that BAE Systems was reluctant to deliver the spare part because the TCAA had not paid for spare parts the British firm delivered for the radar in the past.

    To make things worse, the sources said JNIA had since 2010 been operating on the “single glide path system” instead of the required “twin system”, which makes the landing of planes safer.“If this system breaks down completely, JNIA will be just like the airport in Dodoma operation-wise,” said one of the sources.

    Another source said the airport was also running short of flight progress strips used for recording flight information, adding that only two boxes of the strips, which will last up to the end of this month, were supplied from France last month.

    The sources said TCAA had not paid the supplier of the strips since 2010, adding that 400 strips were being used a day to record flight information.

    Reached for comment, the Tanzania Government Flight Agency Operations Manager, Captain Kisimbo, quipped: “Ask the people who manage the radar. I can’t say anything.”

    The Secretary of the Tanzania Air Operators Association (Taoa), Mr Lawrence Paul, expressed his surprise when he spoke to The Citizen by telephone from Mwanza.

    “I’m not aware. I’m in Mwanza, but I’m flying back to Dar es Salaam today (yesterday),” he said.
    The retired traffic controller promised to make a follow-up before issuing a statement today or tomorrow.

    The Tanzania Airports Authority (TAA) director for JNIA, Mr Moses Malaki, said: “This is too sensitive an issue to talk about over the phone. How could one be sure that you are a journalist? Anyone can pretend to be a journalist over the phone.”

    However, Mr Malaki, who said he was in Arusha for a meeting, advised this reporter to get in touch with TCAA officials in Dar es Salaam.
    Neither TAA Director General Suleiman Said Suleiman nor the Minister for Transport, Dr Harrison Mwakyembe, could not be reached yesterday for comment.

  2. Mourinho

    Mourinho JF-Expert Member

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    Another " spider"
  3. Gama

    Gama JF-Expert Member

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    Kumbe sasa munaona umuhimu wa radar?!, si munajifanya kumtafuta mchawi wa chenji?!, si wengine walidai kuwa radar haikuwa soo important?!, kalagabaho.
  4. figganigga

    figganigga JF-Expert Member

    Aug 17, 2012
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    ishu ni kwamba walinunua mtambo fake. Uzuri rushwa iliyo tolewa ambao wameila ni watanzania wote wa bara. Chenge inabidi ahojiwe vizuri. Malawi wakisa hivyo watashangilia kinoumer coz itakua rahisi sana kuuteka uwanja wa ndege. mia
  5. Opaque

    Opaque JF-Expert Member

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    Hii habari haikutakiwa kuandikwa hadharani, ingawa jeshi pia lina radar zake tofauti na hii!
  6. r

    rodrick alexander JF-Expert Member

    Aug 17, 2012
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    hao jamaa ukiona wanavyoshindana kununua magari ya kifahari kwa pesa za serikali lakini kitu muhimu kama hicho wameshindwa kununua nani asiyejua umuhimu wa rada kwenye Airport waache kufanya kazi kwa mazoea

    BHULULU JF-Expert Member

    Aug 17, 2012
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    utakuwa na akili ya kifisadi
  8. pmwasyoke

    pmwasyoke JF-Expert Member

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    Kwa nini? Hili jambo kuwa bayana itasaidia wahusika kutafuta suluhu ya haraka. Vinginevyo wataendelea kulala hadi ndege zianguke.
  9. Lambardi

    Lambardi JF-Expert Member

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    Walilazimishwa kununua radar ambayo si size yetu kwa nchi masikini...zipo za size yetu na mahitaji yetu hata spare zake ziko compatible na vendors wengine.tumelivaa chaka live sasa tunaumia na ukute BAE wana hasira sana na Tanzania sababu ya ile chenji....tusubiri ni upepo tu utapita na liwalo na liwe...
  10. S

    Sometimes JF-Expert Member

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    Kwahiyo haikununuliwa!
  11. S

    Sometimes JF-Expert Member

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    Wakificha, WIKILEAKS watafichua!
  12. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    Aug 18, 2012
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    Usisahau Serikali ``haina uwezo`` mkuu

  13. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    Aug 19, 2012
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    The truth about defective radar

    By Gerald Kitabu
    19th August 2012

    As Tanzania skies and the Julius Nyerere International Airport remain unsafe, shocking revelations have emerged implicating the top management at the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority for its shoddy handling and failure to deal with the situation on time.

    Reliable sources reveal that as Air traffic controllers were going on with their daily routine on the morning of August 3, the radar suddenly stopped working – which contradicts the version that the fault was discovered during routine repairs.

    Our sources further reveal that the air traffic controllers immediately reported the matter to the Engineering section, upon which the engineers started doing some random trouble-shooting; and it's during that exercise that they realized that the power supply unit had been damaged.

    With the power supply unit down, the engineers decided to shut it down altogether to avoid the possibility of causing more problems.

    And, when the news reached the Director General, Fadhili Manongi, he immediately ordered the engineers to switch it on again -- so that journalists and politicians should not know what was going on at the JNIA -- about the damaged radar – as the management worked out plans to repair the radar silently without acknowledging it publicly. While that was taking place, the sources say the news had reached one of the top officials in the Ministry of Communication and Transport -- who ordered it shut down again.

    The TCAA management then panicked, and held a series of meetings to discuss how they could deal with the worsening situation before it goes public. Instead of resolving the issue, a ‘witch hunt' developed – during some top officials accused each other for not dealing with the situation on time – even as reports of the missing spare parts had been lying on their tables since 2010.

    Our sources intimate that usually the radar is purchased with extra spare parts; and that the first power supply unit failed some years back – but it was silently replaced without the knowledge of anybody.

    The equipment which has just been damaged was the second --and the only -- spare part in stock. It is further revealed that the radar has been running with single units for many years,, without stand-by spare parts.

    The sources said when the radar collapsed on Aug.3, this year, the management decided to communicate with BAE in London through emails, and in a shocking move, they were told that BAE no longer existed. News shocked the management, and in the course of discussions, the sources say management learnt that the BAE was ‘angry' over traded accusations with the government of Tanzania during which the London company was implicated in corruption scandals – which is why BAE decided to ignore pleas for help from the TCAA.

    So the TCAA started looking for a middle-man in London who would pretend to be purchasing the power supply unit for his company and take it to Tanzania instead.

    The sources refuted any possibility of taking the damaged power supply unit to South Africa for repairs; rather, the management had instead directed engineers at the Airport to go around Dar es Salaam city in vain efforts to source ‘equivalent' spare parts that could serve the ‘purpose' of the damaged unit – so that it could "be fixed while waiting for the middle-man deal in London to find the ‘real' one..

    Our sources further reveal that neither middleman nor engineers had brought any feedback on the progress made in their assignments -- until yesterday.

    The sources say that a ‘Notice to Airmen (NOTAM)' which is usually issued to pilots in case of such emergencies indicates that there would be no radar until October this year, which again contradicts made by the director general on Friday, who told the media that the radar would be fixed within two weeks.

    The sources said that almost all important spare parts were either running as single units (without spare parts) or were dilapidated. These include ‘very omen directional range (VOR); distance measurement equipment (DME) and Grid Path (GP). The VOR, for instance, enables the pilot to accurately, and without ambiguity, navigate from Point A to Point B, whereas the distance measuring equipment (DME) is a transponder-based radio navigation technology that measures slant range distance by timing the propagation of very high frequency (VHF) or ultra high frequency (UHF) radio signals.

    They said these single running units do not have spare parts, so in case they collapse -- like the power supply unit -- the radar would experience the same problem as now, they added.

    In the meantime, TCAA management has expressed ‘shock' at the immediate media coverage -- because they "did not expect the issue to go public," the sources reveal.

    However, the director general is reported to have accused "some officials of sabotaging" him -- without naming anyone, but arguing: He queries: "How else would anyone know that efforts to replace the spare part have never been worked on since 2010?".

    Given its sensitivity – and since a radar must 24 hours -- the international civil Aviation organization (ICAO) recommends that all systems must be purchased with standby spare parts.