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U.K. Air Traffic Control Faces Delays Due to Technical Issue

August 28, 2023 – National Air Traffic Services (NATS), the U.K.’s main air traffic control operator, reported a “technical issue” affecting its automated systems on Monday. The glitch came on one of the busiest travel days of the year, coinciding with the end of a holiday weekend for many U.K. residents.

Several hours after the problem was first identified, NATS confirmed that the issue was impacting its ability to automatically process flight plans. “Until our engineers have resolved this, flight plans are being input manually which means we cannot process them at the same volume,” the service said in a statement.

To maintain safety, NATS has applied traffic flow restrictions but confirmed that U.K. airspace remains open. The agency did not provide an estimate for how long it would take to resolve the issue or pinpoint what had caused the technical glitch.

European air traffic authority Eurocontrol warned travelers of “very high” delays due to the “flight data processing system failure” in the U.K. Scottish airline Loganair described the situation as “a network-wide failure of U.K. air traffic control computer systems.” The airline noted that although intra-Scotland flights might operate with minimal disruption through local coordination, north-south and international flights could experience delays.

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