Traffic control fault delays 700 German flights

A regional air traffic control system outage sharply limited flights around much of northern Europe yesterday, causing delays for some 700 flights.

The outage at the Maastricht, Netherlands, radar facility of the continent's Eurocontrol system lasted about an hour and a half, the Eurocontrol spokeswoman Lucia Pasquini said. Eurocontrol estimated that 700 flights would be affected in total.

The problem in the radar facility halted flights above 7,500 meters (24,606ft), said Axel Raab, spokesman for German air traffic control. Pilots could choose to fly at lower altitude, although that airspace could clog quickly, Mr Raab said.

The Maastricht facility handles around 5,500 flights a day.