Friday, 6 May 2022
Experts say that technically, Ercan Airport is still in the 1940s, Kibris Postasi writes. In a scathing report about airport security, aeroplane landing safety, it describes the operation as being run “like a grocery store”.
The newspaper adds that all this is happening at a time when North Cyprus is desperate to resume tourism, its main source of income, after the economic ravages of the pandemic and the depreciated Turkish Lira.
Kibris Postasi writes that after a Pegasus plane bound for Ercan from Ankara was forced to land at Antalya because of a technical malfunction at Ercan, three more planes had a similar problem with landing guidance and were forced to land using their own initiative.
These problems were caused by a technical problem with the ILS (Instrument landing system), a navigation aid system that provides the landing and approach order of the aircraft and enables an aircraft to approach the runway with precision.
The newspaper points out that there is no plane or airport in the world whose landing was cancelled due to a malfunction in this system.
Lack of International Standards
In line with international standards, the system should have multiple backup or even alternatives.
According to information obtained by Kibris Postasi, the backups for this system at Ercan have also malfunctioned before and repairs were not made because of the “expense and business practises” of the private operator.
When the only ILS system available malfunctioned the previous day, the pilot who wanted to land at Ercan deemed it unsafe and returned to Antalya.
The newspaper goes on to say that this is not the only shocking detail; under normal conditions, there is no sytem that permits landing aircraft using only the ILS (Instrument landing system).
Alternative systems should also be in place but these systems do not work in Ercan.
This situation, which is “unchecked”, left to the initiative of private companies, stemming from technical negligence, according to the statements of some experts contacted by Kibris Postasi, threatens not only tourism, the economy or our ruined image, but also “national security”.