Airservices says the backlog of flights into and out of Sydney Airport should be cleared by early afternoon after resolving what the air traffic manager described as a software issue that left scores of passengers delayed on Monday morning.
Airlines were forced to delay or cancel a number of flights after the fault was discovered at about 0500 Monday, leading to long queues at Sydney Airport at the start of the school holiday period.
Uh oh. Delays at Sydney Airport after a radar failure. Had to happen in Monday peak hour. pic.twitter.com/uEIYEMDwLk
— Nadine Flood (@NadineFloodCPSU) September 24, 2017
The system problem also impacted flights out of Melbourne and Brisbane.
Airservices said the issue was resolved a few hours later.
“The technical issue @SydneyAirport has been addressed, we are now working to resume to normal operations and clear the backlog of flights,” Airservices said Twitter.
The technical issue @SydneyAirport has been addressed, we are now working to resume to normal operations and clear the backlog of flights.
— AirservicesAustralia (@AirservicesNews) September 24, 2017
Later, Airservices said in a statement the disruption was caused by a software issue.
“The software fault failed to convert from night-shift operations to day-shift operations, consequently one air traffic control console was operational for the morning peak when in normal circumstances six to eight consoles are operating,” Airservices said.
“The safety of the travelling public is our first priority and traffic capacity was reduced to maintain safety standards.”
Further, Airservices said it was “confident that it was not a cyber incident”, adding that it was a hardware failure.
The backlog of flights to be cleared by early afternoon, it said.
Qantas said on its website there were “significant delays” affecting Sydney Airport affecting all airlines.
Passengers were being asked to check on the status of their flight with the airlines.
.@AirservicesNews system issue has now been resolved. Please check with your airline for updated flight status. We appreciate your patience.
— Sydney Airport ✈️ (@SydneyAirport) September 24, 2017