Canada: Air traffic control short-staffing at Trudeau Airport blamed for close call: TSB - - PressFrom - Canada
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CanadaAir traffic control short-staffing at Trudeau Airport blamed for close call: TSB

21:27  10 july  2019
21:27  10 july  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

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Two planes approaching Montreal's Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport came within 150 metres of each other while still aloft —an incident the federal Transportation Safety Board ( TSB ) blames on short - staffing of air traffic control and a deviation from standard procedures.

Two planes approaching Montreal's Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport came too close to each other while still aloft — an incident the federal Transportation Safety Board ( TSB ) blames on short - staffing of air traffic control and a deviation from standard procedures.In a report released Wednesday, the.

Two planes approaching Montreal's Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport came within 150 metres of each other while still aloft —an incident the federal Transportation Safety Board (TSB) blames on short-staffing of air traffic control and a deviation from standard procedures.

In a report released Wednesday, the TSB said in May 2018, an Air Transat Airbus A310 and a Cessna 421 light twin-engine aircraft were approaching the Dorval airport when they came within 500 feet (152 metres) vertically and three kilometres (1.7 nautical miles) laterally of each other.

"Normally the aircraft should be separated by at least 1,000 feet [304 metres] vertically or three nautical miles laterally," read a statement issued by the TSB.

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In air traffic control jargon, the term signifies that an aircraft has breached the minimum distance required from Short staffing and a deviation of standard procedures by air traffic controllers were the cause of a close call between two planes near Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport .

Two planes approaching Montreal's Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport came too close to each other while still aloft — an incident the federal Transportation Safety Board ( TSB ) blames on short - staffing of air traffic control and a deviation from standard procedures. In a report released Wednesday, the TSB

The vertical distance separating the planes work out to roughly one-and-a-half football fields.

The TSB report states that normally seven controllers and a shift supervisor would have been scheduled to work, but "absences and illness reduced that number to three controllers and a supervisor."

That short-staffing meant that three controllers were responsible for six sectors of airspace, adding to their "workload and its complexity."

The planes were headed for different runaways, but while still 33 kilometres northeast of the airport, they came too close to each other, the report said.

Air traffic control short-staffing at Trudeau Airport blamed for close call: TSB © Graham Hughes/THE CANADIAN PRESS An Air Transat Airbus A310 came within 152 metres of a Cessna light twin-engine aircraft in May 2018. (The plane pictured here is an Airbus A330.)

The TSB's investigation found that  as the Cessna was approaching from the northeast, "control responsibility for it was not transferred to the next sector according to standard procedure."

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Air traffic control ( ATC ) is a service provided by ground-based air traffic controllers who direct aircraft on the ground and through controlled airspace, and can provide advisory services to aircraft in non- controlled airspace.

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A controller-in-training responsible for that receiving sector "was not initially aware of the presence or intentions of the Cessna until it entered his airspace, and as a result did not have an opportunity to develop a plan to deal with the converging traffic."

The report goes on to say that the instructor, who was both the shift supervisor and responsible for the trainee, "was distracted by other tasks and wasn't able to accurately monitor the developing situation."

Ultimately the controller-in-training saw the Cessna plane on the display was able to divert the planes away from each other before they got any closer.

Both aircraft landed at Trudeau airport without incident.

The TSB said it's not aware of any safety action taken by the airport following their investigation.

Aéroports de Montréal, the airport authority, has not yet responded to a request for comment from CBC News.

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