Key Points:

  • The National Air Traffic Services (NATS) reports "technical issues" and applies air traffic flow restrictions to maintain safety.

  • Airports and airlines across the UK, including major carriers like Ryanair, EasyJet, Loganair, and Aer Lingus, warn passengers about possible delays.

  • No clear timeline or cause has been provided for resolving the technical issue affecting UK air traffic control.

UK Air Traffic Control Issue Has Wide-Ranging Impact, Including Delays in International Flights

LONDON — Travelers across the United Kingdom are grappling with delays due to a "technical issue" affecting the National Air Traffic Services (NATS). To maintain safety in the air, NATS has applied traffic flow restrictions, but the organization has not provided any further details regarding the cause or expected duration of the fault. "Engineers are working to find and fix the fault. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause," NATS said in a statement.

The disruption has led to a ripple effect on various airlines and airports, including Ryanair, EasyJet, Loganair, and Aer Lingus. These carriers have issued warnings to passengers about potential delays to their flights. Airports such as London Luton, Stansted, Heathrow, and Gatwick have also alerted travelers to issues they may encounter. In Ireland, the situation has led to "delays and cancellations to some flights into and out of Dublin Airport," according to a statement provided to BBC News.

Alastair Rosenschein, a former British Airways pilot and current aviation consultant, likened the impact of the disruption to a scenario where every road in the country was closed. "It's a bit of a nightmare scenario, really," Rosenschein told BBC Radio 5 Live. 

Airlines are making efforts to manage the situation and keep passengers informed. British Airways is working with NATS to "understand the impact" of the issue, while Aer Lingus has advised passengers to check their flight status before heading to the airport. Ryanair passengers at Stansted were told to wait at their gate until further notice. Loganair warned of a network-wide failure of UK air traffic control computer systems.

Travelers are advised to contact their airlines and airports for the most current information, as the issue continues to be unresolved and its cause remains unidentified. "I fear there are going to be an awful lot of people waking up tomorrow where they don't want to be," Calder concluded.