Scientists believe that the incident with air traffic control at Tan Son Nhat Airport on June 16 was caused by interference of unfamiliar waves.
According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV), the air traffic control was affected by strange wave at the airport at that moment. As a result, some aircrafts had to fly standby or landed in other airports.
According to Dr. Nguyen Bach Phuc, head of the Electric, Electronics and Informatics Institute, radio frequency range is allocated in a scientific way so that the frequency bands do not override each other. The gap between the two frequency bands for two different applications is large enough to avoid overlapping.
Phuc said that one frequency band overridden by strange wave were due to something either accidental or intentional.
He said a serious accident could have happened from electrical and energetic appliances, or transmitters of other apps under operation in the same area.
An incident could have also occurred with the transmitters of the air traffic unit.
However, Phuc said the wave reportedly existed for 18 minutes only. The air traffic control incident could not cause problems for only 18 minutes.
If the strange wave appeared as intentionally planned, it would be discovered by the security force and Radio Frequency Management Agency, according to Phuc.
“They are capable of discovering where the strange wave was from because they have state-of-the-art equipment,” he said.
CAAV’s head Lai Xuan Thanh on June 17 told the press that the wave interference had occurred in the past in some other areas in Vietnam in 2012 and 2013. However, he said this was the first time the interference occurred at an airport.
An official of the Air Traffic Management Corporation Vietnam said the corporation has asked the Radio Frequency Management Agency to conduct an investigation to find the wave.
“Initial findings show this is a relatively strong wave which overrode the management frequencies of the air traffic control unit,” he said.
According to Thanh, when the incident occurred, the air traffic control unit had to shift to use standby frequency or the air traffic control would be interrupted. All the flights were safe.
“We are waiting for a conclusion from the Radio Frequency Agency,” Thanh said.