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Off the Screen

Major Failure in Radar System at Jakarta's International Airport.

(3/22/2004) Twice in as many days, operations at Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta International Airport came to a virtual standstill due to major failures in the radar system controlling the air traffic surrounding the airport.

The latest breakdown occurred on Friday, March 19, 2004, when the control tower's radar systems went down at 8:10 a.m. local time. According to local press reports, the breakdown caused flights to either be diverted or handled manually for approximately one-hour until normal radar function returned.

On Thursday, the previous day, a similar malfunction of the radar system, which lasted for three hours, caused major disruptions in normal flight operations. That breakdown is being blamed on bad weather in the area at the time of the incident.

Jakarta's airport is 1.5 hours flying time from Bali's Ngurah Rai Airport. A number of domestic flights between the two airports were delayed by the recent spate of technical breakdowns in the Jakarta radar system.