A number of airlines have been forced to make more flight cancellations on August 29 following an air traffic control fault on August 28, as reported by TTG UK.
Customers were delayed across the UK on August 28 after NATS, the UK’s air traffic control provider, discovered an issue with its automatic system which provides controllers with details of every aircraft and its route.
According to aviation analytics firm Cirium, 790 flights departing the UK – which represents 27 per cent of all departures – were cancelled due to the technical glitch, as well as 785 inbound services. Despite the issue being resolved within hours, delays are expected to continue into the coming days.
NATS operations director Juliet Kennedy advised it will “take some time” for fights to return to normal. She said: “Our absolute priority is safety and we will be investigating very thoroughly what happened today. I would like to apologise for the impact on the travelling public and our team will continue to work to get you on your way as soon as we can.”
Rob Bishton, interim chief of the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said: “Passengers who continue to be impacted can find information about what they are entitled to on our website. In the event of delays or cancellations, passengers will be expected to be provided with food and drink as well as accommodation if delayed overnight.”
As part of the CAA’s regulatory oversight of its activities, the authority will continue to engage with NATS and will churn out an incident report once its investigation is fully completed.
Heathrow Airport confirmed the delays on August 29, adding that there may be some continuing disruption on some routes, including flight cancellations. Passengers are being advised to check the status of their flight with their airline before travelling to the airport. Those who need to rebook should also contact their airline directly.
Disruptions have also affected other airports, such as Gatwick, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Manchester, and Liverpool John Lennon.
Meanwhile, airlines that were forced to cancel flights due to the technical malfunction are offering passengers alternative flights or other compensations.