Call for an instant quote
0345 90 80 161
Open Mon to Fri 09:00 - 17:30 | Sat 09:00 - 16:00 (GMT)
10 December 2013 09:27
A communication problem which cancelled hundreds of flights has now been fixed, air traffic controllers say
A technical problem at National Air Traffic Service in Hampshire which caused hundreds of flights to be cancelled or delayed has reportedly been fixed.
The "glitch", said to be with the telephone system, lasted for around 12 hours at the site in Hampshire, beginning early in the morning and not being resolved until 7.30pm on Saturday.
The cancellations and delays occurred across the UK and Ireland, showing just how important
travel insurance can be because it can pay for hotel stays or alternative modes of transport when necessary.
The air traffic centre's night-time operating system is said to have failed to switch over to the daytime version. The system used at night combines areas of airspace because it is not as busy as during the day. Its failure to change is said to have created problems with the telephones used by operators at the site.
Officials claim that safety was not at risk while communication was down.
In a statement, the National Air Traffic Service said: "The reduction in capacity has had a disproportionate effect on southern England because it is an extremely complex and busy airspace, and we sincerely regret inconvenience to our airline customers and their passengers.
"To be clear, this is a very complex and sophisticated system with more than a million lines of software. This is not simply internal telephones. It is the system that controllers use to speak to other ATC (air traffic control) agencies both in the UK and Europe and is the biggest system of its kind in Europe.
"This has been a major challenge for our engineering team and for the manufacturer who has worked closely with us to ensure this complex problem was resolved as quickly as possible while maintaining a safe service."
The problem disrupted Heathrow Airport the most, cancelling 228 flights, which was around one in every six that day (15%).
A Heathrow Airport spokeswoman said: "Today (Sunday) we have 18 cancellations: 11 arrivals and seven departures. And that's mostly due to crew displacement."
The other airports around the UK and Ireland are presumed to be now operating as usual.
24 September 2016
Slim people who look physically healthy may still be at increased chance of being diagnosed with bowel cancer if they have raised insulin levels, according new research.
23 September 2016
Theresa May is being urged to give the go-ahead for flights to resume between the UK and Sharm el-Sheikh by the head of the cross-party parliamentary group on Egypt.
22 September 2016
Budget airline Jet2.com is to open its first base in the south of England at Stansted.
21 September 2016
Smoking rates have dropped to the lowest level on record in England, new figures show, suggesting messages about the health effects of cigarettes are hitting home.
20 September 2016
Concerns have been raised over flight disruptions caused by heavy drinking among passengers.
17 September 2016
British Airways' decision to launch direct flights from London to Tehran earlier this month positions Iran as one of the hottest destinations to visit in 2017, according to experts.
16 September 2016
More than 100 flights have been cancelled as French air traffic controllers go on strike again.
15 September 2016
Two thirds of MPs would support an expansion at Heathrow.
14 September 2016
TripAdvisor is launching a new homepage, making the booking of holiday activities and tours even easier.
13 September 2016
Travellers are to be charged to use fast lanes to get through passport checks in an attempt to cut queues.
09 September 2016
People travelling to regions affected by the Zika virus outbreak should practise safe sex for at least half a year upon their return, health leaders say.
08 September 2016
British Airways is apologising to passengers for delays after an IT glitch hit check-in systems.