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Monday, June 17, 2024

UK flights disrupted by air traffic control fault

A technical issue has affected UK air traffic control systems, causing delays and cancellations to flights across the country. The problem was reported on Tuesday morning by the National Air Traffic Services (NATS), which said it had applied traffic flow restrictions to maintain safety. Engineers are working to find and fix the fault, but no estimate has been given for when normal service will resume.

The issue has impacted flights at several major airports, including Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Some airlines have advised passengers to check their flight status before travelling to the airport, while others have offered refunds or rebooking options. Passengers have expressed frustration and confusion over the situation, with some saying they had been waiting for hours without any updates.

The cause of the technical issue has not been disclosed by NATS, which is responsible for managing the UK’s airspace. However, some sources have suggested that it may be related to a software update that was carried out overnight. NATS said it was working closely with its system supplier to resolve the problem as quickly as possible.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which regulates UK aviation, said it was monitoring the situation and would investigate the incident. It also urged passengers to contact their airline or travel provider for information and advice. The CAA said it expected airlines to provide assistance and compensation to passengers in line with their legal obligations.

This is not the first time that UK air traffic control systems have experienced technical issues. In 2014, a power failure at NATS’ main control centre in Swanwick, Hampshire, caused widespread disruption to flights. In 2015, a computer glitch at the same centre led to hundreds of flights being delayed or cancelled. In both cases, NATS apologised for the inconvenience caused to passengers and airlines.

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