Edinburgh Airport flights: Delays and passengers stranded due to UK air traffic control systems failure
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Edinburgh Airport has warned passengers to check ‘with their airline on the status of their flight’ prior to arriving at the airport after a technical issue affecting air traffic control has led to flight cancellations.
Today, Monday August 28, the National Air Traffic Services (Nats) said it was ‘experiencing a technical issue’ and has ‘applied traffic flow restrictions to maintain safety.’ The issue affected some flights entering and exiting the UK but Nats added ‘UK airspace is not closed.’
The cause of the technical issue remains unclear but saw air traffic controllers manually input flight plans for several hours meaning the number of flights be processed had to be reduced to ensure safety.
At 3.15pm Nats stated the fault has been ‘identified and remedied’ and they will be ‘working closely with airlines and airports to manage the flights affected as efficiently as possible.’ It added: “Our engineers will be carefully monitoring the system’s performance as we return to normal operations.”
Writing on social media, Edinburgh Airport said: “This is a developing situation affecting some flights across the UK network. Passengers should not come to the airport before checking with their airline on the status of their flight.” Following Nats’ most recent update Edinburgh Airport added ‘While the technical issue has been resolved disruption to flight schedules remain’ and advised passengers to contact their airline for flight information.
In the last hour, Transport Secretary Mark Harper said he was working alongside Aviation Minister Charlotte Vere to ‘work with Nats to help them manage affected flights and support passengers.’ It comes as Lib Dem, Edinburgh West MP Christine Jardine has called on the Prime Minister to organise an urgent COBRA meeting to address the issue.
Ms Jardine said: “With the Edinburgh festival coming to a close, this is likely to be a busy period for Scottish airports. Rishi Sunak and his Ministers need to get a grip on this issue urgently and hold a COBRA meeting. Scottish ministers will also need to engage with their UK counterparts to ensure that these issues are effectively managed.”
Ms Jardine added: "Travellers cannot afford for either government to go missing at a moment like this, or it could have a disruptive impact on millions of holidaymakers. Brits need to know that the Government is doing all it can to make sure people aren't hit with major delays and disruptions in the coming days."
Earlier today a National Air Traffic Services spokesperson said: “This morning’s technical issue is affecting our 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, hence we have applied traffic flow restrictions. Our technical experts are looking at all possible solutions to rectify this as quickly as possible.”
They added: “Our priority is ensuring every flight in the UK remains safe and doing everything we can to minimise the impact. Please contact your airline for information on how this may affect your flight. We are sincerely sorry for the disruption this is causing.”