Air traffic control review ordered amid “days-long” flight delays

Air traffic control review ordered amid “days-long” flight delays

Travel disruptions could extend for several days after flights were canceled, stranding numerous passengers due to a technical malfunction in the UK’s air traffic control (ATC) system.

Mark Harper, the Transport Secretary, stated that this incident was the most severe of its kind in nearly ten years. He also announced an “independent review” will be conducted to investigate the matter.

The problem originated on Monday when a technical glitch necessitated manual input of flight plans by controllers.

The Civil Aviation Authority will be compiling a report in the upcoming days.

The disruptions persisted into Tuesday with flight cancellations and delays, leading to aircraft and crews being out of position.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper informed GB News that this issue resulted from a technical fault, not a cybersecurity breach. He noted that due to the magnitude of the incident, an independent review will take place.

Heathrow Airport released a statement apologizing for the inconvenience caused by the Nats technical issues. While the problem has been resolved, schedules remain significantly disrupted. Passengers traveling on August 29th were advised to contact their airline before heading to the airport.

By Monday afternoon, 232 departing flights from UK airports and 271 arriving flights had been canceled, accounting for approximately 8% of expected departures and 9% of expected arrivals.

National Air Traffic Services (Nats), the leading air traffic control provider in the UK, announced that it had identified and resolved the technical issue affecting its systems. However, the automatic system that provides controllers with aircraft details and routes was impacted, leading to a limitation in the number of flights that could be managed for safety reasons.

Passengers both in the UK and abroad expressed their frustration, as many were uncertain about their travel plans. Some faced the possibility of significant delays or disruptions lasting for days.

Major UK airlines like Tui and British Airways cautioned passengers about substantial delays due to changes in flight schedules. Passengers were advised to verify their flight times before heading to the airport.