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Radar glitch delays plane flights in Boston

Flights into Boston's international airport were delayed Tuesday for a second straight day as federal officials worked to fix a malfunctioning radar system.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Flights into Logan International Airport were delayed again Tuesday as federal officials worked for a second day to fix a malfunctioning radar system.

Radar was showing “false targets” — blips that air traffic controllers knew were not planes in flight, said FAA spokeswoman Arlene Murray.

“A flock of geese can cause the problem, but this seems to be recurring,” Murray said. “It’s not a common problem. We have had it occur at facilities before.”

Incoming flights were delayed over two hours on average Tuesday morning, an airport spokesman said. Logan’s radar surveillance system first broke down on Monday, when many flights were more than four hours late arriving.

A New Jersey-based Federal Aviation Administration team was in Boston to investigate the problem, Murray said.

Flights were being monitored by a long-range backup radar system in Nashua, N.H., Murray said. Relying on that system requires increasing the distance between planes from three miles to five miles, resulting in the delays.

“We basically slowed the system down a little bit until we can correct the problem,” Murray said.