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Huge delays hit Canberra Airport due to ATC electrical fault

written by Jake Nelson | May 25, 2023

Canberra Airport from above. (Image: Seth Jaworski)

Passengers saw significant delays at Canberra Airport on Thursday morning due to an electrical fault in the ATC tower.

Only two flights scheduled to depart Canberra before 9am are believed to have taken off on time – Qantas flight 1513 to Melbourne and FlyPelican flight 312 to Newcastle – with others either cancelled or delayed by up to several hours, according to FlightRadar24 data. Arrivals were similarly impacted, with many flights landing well behind schedule.

Reports in the media, including The Canberra Times, indicated passengers on a flight departing at 6am were ordered to disembark.

The fault was fixed by around 9am, with flights resuming to clear a substantial backlog. In a statement, an Airservices Australia spokesperson said there had been an issue with radio frequency in the Canberra tower, which prompted ATC to close the airspace as a safety precaution.

“An electrical fault at our Canberra Airport Tower impacted our radio frequencies. There was no radar issue,” the spokesperson said.

Canberra Airport declined to comment.

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