Transport ministry deals slap on wrist for major aviation bungles

By Thai Son, Thanh Nien News

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Passengers at Tan Son Nhat Airport on November 20, when a blackout prevented aircrafts from taking off and landing. Photo: Mai Vong Passengers at Tan Son Nhat Airport on November 20, when a blackout prevented aircrafts from taking off and landing. Photo: Mai Vong

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Vietnam’s Minister of Transportation rebuked and demoted a number of aviation officials for a near-collision last October and a blackout in November at Tan Son Nhat airport.
Minister Dinh La Thang signed a decision to rebuke Do Quang Viet, deputy head of the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) for his role in both incidents.
Viet directly oversees air traffic control in the country.
The ministry also rebuked Lai Xuan Thanh, head of CAAV, and Nguyen Van Thang, deputy general director of the ministry’s Vietnam Air Traffic Management Corporation.
Do Hoang Diep, director of the Southern Air Traffic Management Company, the subsidiary of the corporation in Ho Chi Minh City, was also rebuked.
Diep was allowed to keep his position but was assigned new tasks.
His deputy Tran Cong was also given new tasks under the same position.
Five of Diep's subordinates were also rebuked.
The ministry removed Le Van Tinh from his position as the head of the technology support center at the southern air traffic company, and Nguyen Quoc Phu from its deputy head.
Le Tri Tinh, the technician in charge on the day of the blackout, is still in detention for directly causing the problem.
Investigators say Trinh failed to properly remove a broken uninterruptible power supply (UPS) unit, or battery backup device, from the system.
The omission was blamed for the blackout at Ho Chi Minh City Area Control Center at Tan Son Nhat on November 20.
Reports said 92 flights were affected.
The ministry said the outage disrupted operations at the Ho Chi Minh City Area Control Center for 35 minutes.
The center directs every plane going in and out of southern Vietnam.
Earlier reports said the power went out at 11:11AM. and was only fully restored more than an hour later.
The near collision occurred on October 29 when an Air Force helicopter took off seconds after a Vietnam Airlines plane.
The air traffic control supervisor in charge was blamed for failing to relay messages between civilian and military air traffic controllers. Civilian air controllers communicate with pilots in English and the latter in Vietnamese.

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