According to an article on Open Jaw, air traffic control systems had a “technical meltdown” in the U.K. Flights have resumed now that the issue has been resolved according to The Guardian, although thousands of passengers are still stranded.
Early Monday afternoon, 500 flights were canceled with additional flights being delayed for hours. Reportedly all arrivals and departures were suspended for a period of time due to a “network-wide” computer failure. “According to reports, LHR was the most affected although the country’s air traffic control authority, Nats, the national airspace controllers, say the problems were throughout the U.K.”
Nats stated they were “experiencing a technical issue” and had “applied traffic flow restrictions to maintain safety.”
Their statement was updated to say:
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.
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.
Passengers are in the process of being notified that it could take anywhere from 8-12 hours to clear the backlog now that the issue has been resolved.
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