The Auto Track-III software, the new upgraded software supplied by the US defence contractor Raytheon failed between 3.15 am and 4.55 am, forcing the Auto Track-II to pull in the back-up system which helped avert major delays and threat to safety, officials said.
There have been problems in the past with the system, which is being used on a trial basis at Mumbai and Delhi airports, but these were workstation failures. Sunday was the first time Autotrack-III blacked out completely in Mumbai.
ATC officials said, "The screen displaying flight information, routes and levels went blank. We went back to the old system but it took us some time to start it as there is staff shortage at Mumbai airport."
An AAI official said that Autotrack-III was installed despite its incompatibility with Indian airports. "Many letters have been sent to the ministry to review the system, but to no avail," the official said.