Heathrow Airport Services Remain Disrupted Due to Technical Fault
Heathrow Airport has announced that its services will continue to be significantly disrupted on Tuesday following a technical fault experienced by air traffic controllers across the UK.
In a statement regarding the “technical issues” affecting the National Air Traffic Services (NATS), the UK’s busiest airport advised passengers to contact their airline before heading to the airport.
“Although the issue has been resolved, schedules remain significantly disrupted,” the statement read. “If you are traveling on August 29th, please ensure you contact your airline before going to the airport.”
Brits Stuck Abroad as Disruption Continues
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London Gatwick has announced that it plans to operate a normal schedule on Tuesday after the disruption. Nevertheless, passengers are advised to check the status of their flight with their airline before heading to the airport.
London Stansted has also stated that it intends to run a regular flight schedule on Tuesday, although they have warned that their terminal may be busier than expected. Major UK airlines, including Tui and BA, have cautioned passengers about significant delays due to changes in schedules.
By Monday afternoon, 232 departing flights and 271 arriving flights at UK airports had been canceled, amounting to approximately 8% of all expected departures and 9% of expected arrivals, according to aviation analytics firm Cirium. The technical fault required controllers to manually input flight plans.
What Have Airports Said About the Disruption?
What Have Airports Said About the Disruption?
While NATS has confirmed that it has fixed the technical issue with the UK’s air traffic control system, airports have warned that the disruption it caused will continue. Here’s what some of them have said:
London Luton Airport: “The earlier technical issue with air traffic control systems has now been resolved; however, widespread disruption continues across UK airspace.”
Manchester Airport: “As a result of the nationwide technical problem experienced by NATS earlier today, there continues to be flight disruption, including delays and cancellations.”
Newcastle International Airport: “We understand that the technical issue with National Air Traffic Services is now resolved, but it will take some time for operations to get back to normal.”
London Stansted Airport expects to run a normal flight schedule on Tuesday, August 29th, following the nationwide technical issue that affected air traffic control. We do still advise passengers to check the status of their flight with their airline before traveling to the airport. As our airlines look to accommodate passengers whose travel plans have been disrupted over the past 24 hours, our terminal may be busier than anticipated. Our teams will be working with our airlines and their handling agents to get you through the airport as smoothly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
Heathrow Airport: We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the NATS technical issues today. The issue has been resolved; however, schedules remain significantly disrupted. If you are traveling on August 29th, please ensure you contact your airline before heading to the airport.
Gatwick Airport plans to operate a normal schedule on Tuesday, August 29th, following today’s disruption (August 28th). However, passengers are advised to check the status of their flight with the airline before going to the airport.
Transport Secretary Mark Harper stated on Monday that “despite resolving the technical issue behind today’s air traffic control issues, flights are still unfortunately affected.” He encouraged all passengers to read the UK Civil Aviation Authority’s guidance and be aware of their rights in situations of flight delays or cancellations.
Technical Issue Resolved, but Disruption Continues
Earlier on Monday, NATS stated that the “technical issue” affecting its flight planning system had been identified and resolved. However, travelers continue to experience disruption.
“We are now working closely with airlines and airports to manage the flights affected as efficiently as possible,” NATS stated. “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, resulting in the need for manual processing, which cannot be done on the same volume. This necessitated traffic flow restrictions.
“Our priority is always to ensure the safety of every flight in the UK, and we sincerely apologize for the disruption that this is causing. Please contact your airline for information on how this may affect your flight.”