The UK’s air traffic control systems have grounded hundreds of flights on one among the busiest travel days of the yr.
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LONDON — A technical glitch which has caused a whole lot of U.K. flights to be disrupted could take “days” to repair, causing chaos for passengers through the busy summer travel period.
A whole bunch of flights were delayed and canceled Monday after a systems failure on the U.K.’s air traffic control services left operators unable to routinely process flight plans.
Britain’s National Air Traffic Service (NATS) said several hours later that it had resolved the difficulty, but warned that it will take time for normal flight schedules to resume.
“It’ll take a while for flights to return to normal, and we’ll proceed to work with the airlines and the airports to get better the situation,” NATS Operations Director Juliet Kennedy said in a statement.
Kennedy added that the explanation for the difficulty is currently being investigated.
Greater than 1 / 4 (27%) of all flights travelling to and from U.K. airports were canceled on Monday, in response to data from aviation analytics firm Cirium.
In total, 790 departures and 785 arrivals were canceled, with London’s busiest airport, Heathrow, facing the best disruption, followed by London Gatwick and Manchester.
Britain’s Transport Secretary, Mark Harper, said Tuesday that the disruption would take “some days” to resolve.
“I accept it’s disrupted hundreds of individuals and it’ll take some days to get people back to where they needs to be,” Harper told BBC Radio 4’s “Today” show.
The difficulty comes through the U.K.’s busy public holiday travel period, with many individuals coming back from summer vacations.
The U.K.’s Civil Aviation Authority is investigating the explanation for the failure, Harper said, adding that the federal government was “clear it wasn’t a cyber attack.”