Int’l ATC Group Sides with NTSB on Brazil Midair

 - January 13, 2009, 10:46 AM

The official Brazilian report on the September 2006 midair between an Embraer Legacy and a Boeing 737 is a “missed opportunity for the Brazilian aviation authorities to restore trust and safety in the national aviation system,” according to a statement by the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations (Ifatca). The accident report was released by Brazilian safety agency Cenipa a month ago, including an appendix with a sharp divergence by the NTSB. Ifatca concurs with the NTSB about “the inherent deficiencies of the Brazilian ATC system” and the association further noted that while “events in the cockpit of the Legacy private jet received a lot of attention and were investigated with rather detailed care…the same cannot be said for investigations of the ATC system and operation.” Just two months after the midair, the international federation issued a statement saying that both pilots and controllers “fell victim to unacceptable system traps…of air traffic control and flight equipment.” Even after the Cenipa accident report was released, “The deeply rooted structural and organizational problems of the Brazilian ATC system continue to exist,” Ifatca said, while expressing hope that the problems can be fixed.