ATNS responds to allegations of radar failure impact on medevac aircraft crash
Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) has responded with, what is described as “concern and dismay' to reports and allegations about “a nationwide ATNS radar systems failure”, following the fatal crash of a Namibian air ambulance on Sunday.
“We would like to state that these allusions – in the absence of an independent investigation report – are misleading, speculative and lack substance,” the organization said.
Five South Africans were killed when a Cessna 441 Conquest II operating on a Medevac mission, crashed in a Tygerberg Hills nature reserve east of Cape Town.
“The pilot, his co-pilot, a paramedic, the patient and his daughter were all tragically killed," a statement from the emergency services said.
Operator ER24 said in a statement that Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) had reported that all aircraft approaching Cape Town International Airport at the time were placed in a holding pattern “due to a technical fault with their radars. The E-med Rescue 24 aircraft was also in the holding pattern at the time. We lost contact with the aircraft approximately seven miles outside of the airport.”
The statement from ATNS today said that all airports including Cape Town International are operating normally. Delays experienced were as a consequence of a technical glitch – which has since been remedied – that resulted in our slot coordination system (sequencing of departures and arrivals) being affected.
“We would like to firmly restate that according to standard International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) protocols and procedures, all aircraft-related incidents and accidents are investigated by an Aviation authority of a member state. The South African Department of Transport's Aircraft Accident Investigations Unit, in consultation with the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) is investigating this incident.
“As ATNS we will be cooperate fully with investigating Authority by providing all the relevant and related information.”
“Safety in the aviation sector is not an area where compromise is permissible. In our quest to provide a safe, decent and quality aviation infrastructure and services, we are continuously improving our safety requirements, in line with international standards.
‘We would like to take this opportunity to offer our heartfelt and deepest condolences to the family and friends of all those who perished in this accident,” the ATNS statement said.
The ER24 medevac Cessna in Sunday's fatal crash.