Date
15 December 2017
CAD chief Li Tin-chui (inset) says the new air traffic control system should be judged by its overall performance, not by certain incidents. Photos: HKEJ, Xinhua
CAD chief Li Tin-chui (inset) says the new air traffic control system should be judged by its overall performance, not by certain incidents. Photos: HKEJ, Xinhua

CAD chief defends new system after ‘close encounters’

Hong Kong civil aviation authorities say there have been six instances of aircraft flying too close to each other but three were technical issues.

The other three were due to a breach in the minimum safety distance, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports, citing local news agency FactWire.

The incidents occurred between Jan. 19 and 30.

Li Tin-chui, director general of the Civil Aviation Department, said the incidents had nothing to do with the new Air Traffic Control System (ATC).

The Autotrac 3 ATC, manufactured by US defense company Raytheon, cost the government HK$570 million (US$73.46 million).

Li said these incidents normally occur up to twice a month, regardless of the ATC system used.

He said the new system should not be judged by such incidents but by its overall performance.

International aviation standards require planes to maintain a vertical clearance of at least 1,000 feet and be at least five nautical miles apart.

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