Faulty Radar Causes Travel Chaos At Dublin Airport

July 9, 2008

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A faulty air traffic control radar caused major disruption at Ireland's Dublin Airport on Wednesday with many flights cancelled or severely delayed.

The airport said that by mid afternoon only about half of the usual traffic was taking off and landing.

"We are having some departures and there are flights arriving as well at the moment... 12 per hour arriving and departing, each," an airport spokeswoman said.

Ryanair, Europe's largest low-cost carrier, said it had been told that air traffic control capacity would be reduced by 66 percent for the remainder of Wednesday.

"The issues with radar equipment at Dublin have been known for some weeks and it is unacceptable that there is no contingency or back up plan," Ryanair said in a statement.

The airline said it had so far cancelled 31 flights and diverted 8 inbound aircraft to other airports in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Rival carrier Aer Lingus said it had diverted 10 flights to Shannon, Cork and Belfast and cancelled all but five flights due to depart or arrive after 5 p.m. (1600 GMT).

Dublin airport's website showed delays of two to four hours in most cases although one flight was nine hours late.