The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) will establish a task force to look into a case where an air traffic controller at Cat Bi Airport in Hai Phong City did not keep in touch with the pilot of a departing flight, a leader of the central aviation governing body said on Wednesday.
The air traffic controller failed to answer several calls from the pilot who flew flight VJ 671 from Cat Bi Airport to Buon Ma Thuot City in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak ahead of its departure on the morning of March 18.
The pilot made ten very high frequency (VHF) radio calls and three emergency frequency calls in total, starting at 5:30 am on the day, 45 minutes prior to the departure time, but received no response from the air traffic controller.
After many unsuccessful calls, the pilot reached out to the Hanoi Long-Distance Control Center to report the incident.
The Hanoi Long-Distance Control Center then contacted the Cat Bi Airport Traffic Control Tower, which provided the pilot with information facilitating his flight’s departure.
Footage from security cameras installed at the Cat Bi Airport Traffic Control Tower later showed that the staff member on duty at that time sat in the wrong position and did not wear his headphones, so he failed to acknowledge calls from the pilot, which were made earlier than the scheduled departure time, according to the CAAV leader.
The Vietnam Air Traffic Management Corporation, which manages the Cat Bi Airport Traffic Control Tower, is set to handle the air traffic control crew in question while the CAAV will further clarify the case before making an official conclusion, the leader added.