Since Monday (28 August), air traffic controllers across the United Kingdom have been experiencing a technical fault, with one of its airlines reporting a ‘network-wide failure‘.
Confirming that it is experiencing ‘technical issues’, NATS, the National Air Traffic Controllers shared an official statement on its X (Twitter) handle. In a statement published on its website as well as in the post, NATS said, “We are currently experiencing a technical issue and have applied traffic flow restrictions to maintain safety. Engineers are working to find and fix the fault.”
We are currently experiencing a technical issue and have applied traffic flow restrictions to maintain safety. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. We will publish updates on our website here:https://t.co/YJO7NyZKxs
— NATS (@NATS) August 28, 2023
Further, to make things clear, NATS has clarified on its website that the airspace of the United Kingdom is not closed. Instead, they have had to apply air traffic flow restrictions to maintain safety. Consequently, hundreds of flights both incoming and outbound from the airspace of the United Kingdom have registered substantive delays.
However, NATS has not given any estimate of how long it could take to fix the problem, or what had caused this massive technical failure.
NATS’ statement follows a previous announcement from Scottish airline Loganair, which reported a “network-wide failure” of UK air traffic control systems this morning.
Taking to X, Loganair said, “There has been a network-wide failure of UK air traffic control computer systems this morning. Although we are hopeful of being able to operate most intra-Scotland flights on the basis of local coordination and with a minimum of disruption, north-south and international flights may be subject to delays.”
Similarly, European air traffic authority Eurocontrol has warned of “very high” delays. It has cited “flight data processing system failure” in the UK for these long delays, reported Skynews.
As per a report in BBC, a travel expert named Simon Calder warned that there could be “an awful lot of people waking up tomorrow where they don’t want to be”. Apart from these concerns, many flights have been grounded in order to avert major mishaps.
Meanwhile, British Airways stated it was working closely with NATS to understand the impact of a technical issue that is affecting UK airspace and will keep updating the latest information.
Easyjet passengers were reportedly told that all flights that are flying in or out of the UK airspace has been affected by this “technical issue”.
Meanwhile, many airports like Dublin and Cork have stated that they are experiencing delays to some flights.