On Monday, the air traffic control provider in the U.K., the National Air Traffic Service (NATS), announced that it had successfully resolved a technical issue that had disrupted flights across the country. The disruption had prompted warnings of potential hours-long delays for passengers.
In an update provided in the afternoon, NATS stated that it was collaborating with airlines and airports to efficiently manage the impacted flights. The organization confirmed that the technical problem with their flight planning system had been identified and fixed, and their engineers would be closely monitoring the system’s performance during the return to normal operations.
The root cause of the issue was not disclosed by NATS, nor were the specifics of any remaining flight restrictions provided.
Despite the resolution of the glitch, London’s Heathrow Airport spokesperson cautioned that flight schedules would remain significantly disrupted throughout the day. Passengers were urged to only travel to the airport if their flights were confirmed as operational. British Airways also reported severe disruptions to its schedule due to the outage, particularly affecting short-haul flights.
The disruption occurred during a busy period for travel in the U.K., as many people were returning from their summer holidays over the bank holiday weekend.
The incident began with an announcement from NATS that a technical fault was affecting their ability to automatically process flight plans, resulting in manual air traffic control management. Engineers were working to identify and rectify the fault. A subsequent update confirmed that the fault persisted and that manual control was being maintained.
Loganair, a Scottish airline, was among the first to report the issue, describing it as a “network-wide failure of UK air traffic control computer systems.” The disruption led to widespread delays, and flight tracking data showed significant limitations on departures from U.K. airports, although arrivals continued.
Gatwick Airport, London’s second-largest airport, confirmed delays and cancellations, while Luton Airport stated that the air traffic control problem was affecting airspace across the U.K., causing flight disruptions. Stansted Airport also acknowledged the nationwide air traffic control issue impacting flights in and out of various U.K. airports.
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