Macedonian Media Spreading False Claims about Croatian Air Control Mistakes

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The Macedonian daily published a false article claiming that flying over Croatia is dangerous.

The Macedonian newspaper Večer has published an alarming article in its online edition about the safety of air flight control in Croatia. Luckily, it turns out that the article is false. It states that the flights above Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina are unsafe, even dangerous, due to the failing system used by the Croatian air traffic control, reports on October 2, 2018.

Anonymous flight controllers have allegedly said that tragic consequences have been avoided several times only thanks to their experience. “We were shocked when we realized that a plane from Italy came close to Split and that we only then noticed it,” Večer “quotes” one Croatian flight controllers. The article also states that the background colour of the control system is not adequate, which is why many smaller aircraft cannot be noticed. It also alleges that there have been many situations since the beginning of this year in which aircraft came too close to each other.

Interestingly, Večer cites as a source the Večernji List daily from Zagreb, stating that the article was first published there, but there is no link. It turns out that such an article has never been published at all.

Nataša Sumirat Adikusumah, president of the Croatian Trade Union of Flight Controllers, was surprised when contacted about the article. She said no such problems have ever been recorded and she does not remember that Večernji List or any other media outlet in Croatia recently published an article with such allegations.

Sources from the flight controller community say that the article is most likely an example of media spin in Macedonia, but it is not clear why it has been published. It is possible that the local flight control is getting ready to buy a new system or upgrade the current one, so interested companies are lobbying one against another by leaking false information to reporters.

As for aircraft allegedly not seen on the radar system, flight controllers say that is almost impossible to occur. The aircraft could only be lost from the radar if it were to turn off the signal transponder, and there is no logical reason why any civil aviation pilot would do that.

Translated from (reported by Tomislav Kukec).


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