Significant Disruptions Continue for Flights to and from the UK as Technical Issues Persist

news 30-Aug-2023 Europe

Flights to and from the UK continue to be "significantly disrupted"

Flight travelers in the UK should still expect delays and cancellations as the aftermath of previous "technical issues" in British airspace monitoring lingers. Investigative efforts to determine the cause of the malfunction are underway.

For the second consecutive day, flight travelers to and from the UK are experiencing significant disruptions due to the technical problems encountered in British airspace monitoring yesterday. National Air Traffic Services (NATS), the air traffic control operator, stated that it will take "some time" before the air traffic returns to normal.

According to the news agency PA, nearly 300 connections have been canceled at major UK airports today. London Heathrow, the busiest airport, issued a warning stating that the flight schedule is still "significantly disrupted." Transportation Secretary Mark Harper described this incident as the largest malfunction of its kind in nearly a decade and announced an investigation.

During the night, Heathrow issued a warning on the social networking platform X (formerly Twitter) stating that the flight schedules are still "significantly disrupted." Passengers were advised to contact their airline before heading to the airport. Meanwhile, London Gatwick, the second-largest airport, stated that it plans to offer a "normal flight schedule." Nonetheless, passengers are advised to check with their airlines to confirm the status of their flights before traveling to the airport. 270 landings have been canceled

Hundreds of flights were already canceled yesterday. According to the BBC, citing the aviation analysis company Cirium, over 270 landings and more than 230 departures were canceled. Passengers traveling to the UK shared accounts of lengthy delays and flight cancellations on social media.

Transportation Secretary Mark Harper stated that this is the most significant incident of its kind in nearly a decade, ruling out a cyber attack as the cause of the disruption. He attributed the cancellation or delay of hundreds of flights to a "technical fault" at NATS, the air traffic control provider. Harper announced an investigation into the matter. Failure in flight plan automation

NATS explained that the failure affected their ability to process flight plans automatically. As a result, flight plans had to be manually entered for several hours, causing a significant slowdown and reduced capacity for takeoffs and landings. Yesterday, the air traffic control operator confirmed that the problem had been "identified and resolved."

Transportation Secretary Harper informed the BBC that it will take "a few days to get people back to where they should be." Experts also anticipate that the consequences in the UK's air travel, particularly around the critical hub of London, could be felt for several more days.

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