Hundreds of UK Flights Cancelled Even as Air Traffic Claims Control Glitch ‘Remedied’

Hundreds of flight cancellations are expected to continue into the week at UK airports following a “technical issue” that hit the country’s air traffic control systems.

Several airlines and airports have continued to warn of “widespread disruption” while systems at UK airports get back up and running as normal.

The UK air traffic control authorities, however, said the technical glitch has been “identified and remedied”.

British Airways and several other airlines said it has made “significant changes” to its flight schedule due to the earlier air traffic control issue.

The disruption caused the stranding of thousands of passengers bound for UK airports on Monday.

The disruption happened on one of the busiest travel days of the year – with many people returning from holidays on the last Bank Holiday weekend of the summer.

An estimated 500 flights are believed to have been cancelled as a result of the glitch, which will continue to cause chaos at UK airports for days to come.

Luton, Stansted, Gatwick and Manchester airports all reported problems.

The UK’s National Air Traffic Services (NATS), which had “applied traffic flow restrictions to maintain safety” across UK airports, apologised for the disruption caused by issues in its flight planning system which was affecting its “ability to automatically process flight plans”.

It said that engineers would be monitoring the system’s performance as it returns to normal.

“We have identified and remedied the technical issue affecting our flight planning system this morning,” NATS said in a statement, PTI reported.

“We are now working closely with airlines and airports to manage the flights affected as efficiently as possible. Our engineers will be carefully monitoring the system’s performance as we return to normal operations,” it said.

It explained that the flight planning issue affected the system’s ability to automatically process flight plans, meaning that flight plans had to be processed manually which cannot be done at the same volume, hence the requirement for traffic flow restrictions.

“Our priority is always to ensure that every flight in the UK remains safe and we are sincerely sorry for the disruption this is causing. Please contact your airline for information on how this may affect your flight,” it added.

The NATS describes itself as the country’s leading provider of air traffic control services, which handles 2.5 million flights and 250 million passengers in a “normal year”.


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