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U.K. Air Travel Disrupted by Technical Issue at Air Traffic Control

Date: August 28, 2023

Flights in and out of the U.K. faced delays and cancellations as a technical issue struck the country’s air traffic control system on a bustling national holiday. Engineers are currently addressing the fault, and until it’s resolved, flight plans are being updated manually.

Britain’s National Air Traffic Service announced that a technical issue had impacted the air traffic control system on Monday, causing potential disruptions to flights across the nation on a busy public holiday.

“We are currently facing a technical issue and have implemented traffic flow restrictions to ensure safety,” a spokesperson from the National Air Traffic Service stated around 12:30 p.m. local time.

Engineers are actively working to locate and rectify the issue, although the timeframe for resolution remains unclear.

In the interim, air traffic personnel are manually inputting flight plans due to the technical problem.

“The technical issue this morning is affecting our capacity to automatically process flight plans,” the spokesperson explained. “Until our engineers resolve this, flight plans are being manually entered, leading to reduced processing volume and subsequent traffic flow restrictions.”

“Our technical specialists are exploring all potential solutions to rectify this promptly,” they added.

Heathrow Airport, London’s largest international gateway, confirmed flight disruptions across the U.K. due to the national airspace issue.

Stansted and Gatwick Airports in London, as well as Manchester Airport in the north of England, reported flight impacts caused by the technical problem.

Eurocontrol, the European air traffic authority, cautioned about significant delays due to a “flight data processing system failure” within the U.K.

While the airline hoped to minimize disruptions for most intra-Scotland flights, it acknowledged possible delays for north-south and international routes.

This incident occurred on a bustling travel day for U.K. residents, as Monday marked a nationwide public holiday.

Numerous individuals reported being stranded on planes on the tarmac, although NBC News hasn’t independently verified these accounts.

A traveler in Budapest revealed that their plane was grounded due to a significant computer failure, as conveyed by the pilot.

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