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London’s Gatwick resumes flights after air traffic control issue



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London’s Gatwick Airport is playing catch up after “an air traffic control systems issue” temporarily halted all takeoffs and landings for about two hours early Wednesday evening. The airport said it planned to resume full operations Thursday.

“Flights have resumed at Gatwick following an earlier issue with the systems operated by ANS (Air Navigation Systems) in our air traffic control tower,” airport officials said in a tweet Wednesday.

“As we move back into full operations, we are likely to see some delays and further cancellations,” the airport’s tweet continued, adding “We continue to advise all passengers traveling (Wednesday night) or (Thursday) to check the status of their flight with their airline before traveling to the airport.”

Gatwick’s tweet did not elaborate as to the exact nature of the problem, though Britain’s Evening Standard newspaper quoted an airport spokesperson as saying the culprit was a power failure in the tower’s IT systems at approximately 5 p.m. local time that was resolved around 7 p.m.

According to flight-tracking website FlightAware, 95 flights in and out of Gatwick were canceled Wednesday and another 298 delayed. 

As of 1:50 p.m. local time Thursday, 141 flights into and out of the airport had been delayed, and no flights were listed as canceled. 

USA TODAY has reached out to airport officials for comment on the nature of the problem.

The Evening Standard and The Guardian noted that ripple effects were felt across Europe.

Gatwick, located around 30 miles south of central London, is the second-busiest airport in the U.K. and is especially busy during the summer holiday season.

The airport was crippled in December when a drone sighting shut down all flights for a day and a half, stranding over 100,000 passengers traveling for the holidays.

Contributing: Associated Press

Drone intrusion:  London’s Gatwick Airport ‘highly targeted’; travelers face chaos

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/airline-news/2019/07/11/londons-gatwick-resumes-flights-after-air-traffic-control-issue/1701613001/





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