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Computer failure causes closure of London airspace

Airline passengers are still facing long delays after following a computer crash at an air traffic control centre caused the closure of London’s airspace on Friday afternoon.

The as-yet-unspecified issue at Stanwick caused flights from Gatwick, Heathrow, London City and other UK airports to be grounded for a brief period on Friday. Flights are now taking off again with some delays while the backlog is cleared.

There were also knock on effects at other airports around the UK, such as Birmingham, Bristol, Luton and Stansted, with delays, suspensions and limits on flying through London airspace.

As of right now the the air traffic controllers have only acknowledged ‘technical issues’ along with the standard apology for delays and inconvenience caused to travellers.

A statement read: “Following a technical failure at Swanwick, the system has been restored. However, it will take time for operations across the UK to fully recover so passengers should contact their airline for the status of their flight.”

The Wall Street Journal claims the outage may have been down to a power failure that took the systems offline, but NATS denies those reports.

Meanwhile The government has called the issue “unacceptable” and has called for a “full explanation” of what occurred.

British Airways has offered those passengers scheduled to fly from Heathrow, Gatwick or London City a full refund on Friday evening flights if they’d like to avoid the potential for chaos.

Read more: Is commercial supersonic air travel set to return?


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