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apa format - Problems in Air Traffic Control and Proposed Solutions In northern California this summer the Federal Aviation Administration FAA unintentionally performed its first operational test of free flight aviation without direct air traffic control This was an unintentional experiment because it was a result of a total shut-down of the Oakland Air Route Traffic Control Center ARTCC Although Oakland is only the 16th busiest ARTCC its responsible for the largest block of airspace of any ATC facility 18 million square miles Oakland directs all upper-level flight from San Luis Obispo California to the CaliforniaOregon boarder including most Pacific oceanic routes The failure happened at 713 am local time during the morning departure push Controllers estimated there were 60-80 aircraft under their control when the power died All radar screens went dark and all radios went silent It took 45 minutes to restore radios and bring up a backup radar system It was more than an hour before the main radar presentations came on line One controller described the sudden quiet in the control suite as the loudest silence Ive ever heard UPI 1995 He went on to say there was panic on everybodys face as they realized they had been rendered deaf dumb and blind by this catastrophic equipment failure It took a few minutes for controllers to realize the shut-down had affected the entire facility There was no book procedure to cover this emergency scenario so most controllers improvised Controllers in adjourning Los Angeles Salt Lake and Seattle ARTCCs and various Terminal Radar Approach Controls TRACON the level of radar coverage below upper-level ARTCC radar were asked to take control over all airspace within their radar coverage and divert aircraft under their control inbound to Northern California Control towers in San Francisco Oakland San Jose Sacramento and other airports in the area were instructed to
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