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Air Traffic Staff See 'Ghost Planes'

From: David  Clarke <cd292@crazydiamonds.fsnet.co.uk>
Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2002 17:45:44 +0100
Fwd Date: Thu, 10 Oct 2002 19:10:30 -0400
Subject: Air Traffic Staff See 'Ghost Planes'

BBC News online, 10 October 2002



"Ghost planes" are appearing on computer screens at the new
national air traffic control centre at Swanwick.

It is believed the phantom aircraft, which appear over the North
Sea, are caused by screens showing incorrect radar data.

It is the latest glitch to hit the =A3623m centre in Hampshire
since it opened in January.

A spokesman for National Air Traffic Services (Nats) insisted
safety was not being compromised by the non-existent planes.
Staff warned

The Nats spokesman said: "The ghosting problem has affected only
a few screens and only affects an area of the North Sea. "Safety
has not been compromised, but, nevertheless, we felt it right to
issue a notice to employees."

Nats has now warned controllers at Swanwick of the problem and
told them to keep aircraft further apart than normal if the
phenomenon occurs.

The problem is only one of a number encountered by the multi-
million pound centre.

Recently controllers said they were concerned they might misread
the height of planes because of difficulty in reading numbers on
their screens.

Controllers have said the latest "ghost" problem did not occur
at their centre in West Drayton, west London - the centre that
Swanwick is replacing.

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