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No radar coverage over Buenos Aires?

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No radar coverage over Buenos Aires?

Old 9th May 2007, 09:19
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No radar coverage over Buenos Aires?

Being the first topic that I open, I apologize in advance should it be in the wrong subforum... I used the search but could not find anything and being just a private pilot I do not usually read NOTAMS etc. for South America.

NZZ Newspaper from ZRH (as well as other papers) reports that since a lightning stroke on 1st March 07, there is no radar coverage any more over the region Buenos Aires and parts of Argentina. According to the report neither EZE nor AEP airports have radar coverage nor "control" nor "approach/departure" and there are already reports (denied by the responsible military) about one TCAS-avoided near-miss between a UA T7 and an Andes MD80.

Is this COMPLETE lack of radar coverage a fact or is the press just making more of it than it deserves (e.g. just one sub-radar down, all others working)?
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Old 12th May 2007, 01:15
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I am not an expert, not even a pilot, but I am reasonably intelligent and can read the papers...
since a bolt of lightning zapped the radar at EZE a few weeks ago there has been constant controversy in the press about the the state of air traffic control here. the minister of defence and the airforce say everything is absoutely fine. Enrique Piñeyro ( ex LAPA 737 pilot, now film maker...)
and the pilots unions say things are going to hell in a handcart. There have been numerous and - to me - credible reports of two mid-air collisions having recently been avoided only by the grace of God and TCAS. As far as I know, there is no radar at all at EZE and Aeroparque and it´s all manual for the forseeable future, vague talk of renting radars from Spain etc but nothing more that that
again; I emphasise that I am know I am not a pilot and therefore the Minister and the air force may be perfectly corect and everything in the garden may be rosy. Somehow, I doubt it...
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Old 12th May 2007, 07:31
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http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthr...t=Buenos+Aires
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Old 12th May 2007, 07:52
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I know little about the airports referred to but suspect that they are not as busy as some in Europe or the USA. Radar is not a pre-requisite for safety. Air Traffic Control can provide a safe flow of traffic under "procedural" control and mid-airs or similar frighteners should not occur just because the radar breaks down. Of course, delays will occur as procedural control cannot utilise available airspace as effectively as radar.
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Old 12th May 2007, 10:26
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I prostrate myself before Heathrow Director´s greater knowledge However wouldn´t safe operations without radar depend on all ATC people being able to understand English? And the Ministry of Defence and the Air Force working in good faith and not bullying civilian staff into hiding problems?

The issues involved are more than just the absence of radar. When I have time I´ll post some stuff from the - respectable - press and summary translations.

Again, I recognise that I am not an an expert, everything I say here may be wrong, the Air Force may be a splendid bunch of chaps selflessly dedicated to keeping us all safe in the air, Enrique Piñeyro may be a dangerous fantasist etc etc
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Old 12th May 2007, 21:16
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FWIW I operated into EZE last week from GRU (that's probably blown my cover). ATC was applying slot times to flights ex GRU/GIG to EZE, and subsequently 10 minute spacing between aircraft on entry to the EZE "FIR". The weather (fortunately) was CAVOK "plus" so we were offered (and took) a visual approach from over the City. From past experience EZE tends to be a either a visual let down or in poor weather they revert to procedural let downs, even with radar.
As to Heathrow Director's comments regarding EZE being busy or not - it's not the busiest airport in the World but there seems to be a bunching of longhaul arrivals around 8-9 AM as the Longhaul stuff comes in, shuttling from GIG/GRU or direct from the States.
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Old 16th May 2007, 00:49
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Here is the latest in Spanish

http://tinyurl.com/2vzrom

The gist of it is this..

The Defence Minister, Nilda Garré, says:

1.
There will be a new secondary radar, rented from Spain, functioning at EZE within 30 days.

2.
The new radars that are to be bought from INVAP

http://www.invap.com.ar/

are being tested at the moment and four of them should be installed by the end of the year. It doesn´t specifically say that EZE is going to get one but common sense would indicate that it would be the case.

3.
Flying in Argentina is safe.

4.
The people who say it isn´t are bad people looking to cash in on the forthcoming transfer of civilian aviation to civilian control
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Old 16th May 2007, 22:25
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Thanks for your insight and answers, guys!
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Old 17th May 2007, 06:25
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Last I heard (reliable source), is that the radar IS working in Baires, but it isn't certified for radar control, so they are using non-radar procedures.
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Old 20th May 2007, 12:20
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The ICAO director general for South America has been reported as saying that flying in Argentina is safe despite the lack of radar and that increased separation requirements should not lead to delays given the low traffic density. He also denies reports from the Argentinian press that there was a near miss as a result of the radar problems.
More detail in attached article (in Spanish) posted on a local forum:
http://www.salvemosaerolineas.com.ar...-adecuada.html
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Old 20th May 2007, 14:53
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http://www.apla.org.ar/index.php?content=article&id=709

Taken from the above link:

IFALPA Safety Bulletin: No Area Radar Coverage in the Baires TMA (Buenos Aires, Argentina)



The area radar serving the Baires TMA in Argentina is out of action as a result of being struck by lighting.

Consequently, all air traffic control is being carried out procedurally until repairs can be affected.

In addition, Air Traffic Control Service provision is in the process of being passed from the Fuerza Aérea Argentina and the Armada de Argentina to the Civil Aviation Authority.

Advice from Asociacion de Pilotos de Lineas Aereas suggests that while the handover takes place there may be severe disruption to ATC service throughout Argentina. Therefore, pilots operating in Argentinean airspace should exercise extreme vigilance and awareness of the present ATC situation in order to maintain safe operations.
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Old 21st May 2007, 16:14
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I have no idea of the level of credibility of this person
http://www.ifatca.org/organisation/president.htm
or his organisation but he was interviewd on the radio here this morning. He said they were very worried about the state of ATC in Argentina and particularly about the pressure - in the form of suspensions and administrative proceedures - being brought to bear on controllers in order to get them to keep their mouths shut about what is really going on.
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