Gatwick passengers hit by delays after air traffic control outage at airport

No cancellations have resulted from the outage

Holly Evans
Saturday 09 December 2023 14:49 GMT
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<p>Flights have been delayed at Gatwick airport (Gareth Fuller/PA)</p>

Flights have been delayed at Gatwick airport (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Passengers have faced hours of delays at Gatwick airport after an air traffic control outage grounded dozens of flights.

A London Gatwick spokesperson said: “There was an outage to a local NATS system earlier this morning which has now been rectified. No cancellations have resulted from this, but some passengers may experience delays. We apologise for any inconvenience.”

Several passengers took to social media to share their frustration, with many reporting being stuck on the runway for over an hour.

No planes were allowed to depart while the airport attempted to reset the system, while other aircraft was sent back to their stands.

Gatwick said the air traffic control outage had since been fixed (PA)

The airport said the air traffic control outage had since been fixed, but apologised for ongoing delays. Dozens of departures and arrivals appeared to be affected, with football fans travelling to Premier League matches among those experiencing issues.

Danny Bellringer, 45, was travelling from Dublin with fellow Brighton fans for the game against Burnley when the group was told their Aer Lingus flight would be delayed by at least two hours.

The oil rig worker said: “There’s not a huge amount we can do – we’re kind of used to it when travelling over from Ireland to the UK for games, (it) very rarely goes completely smoothly.”

Padraic Mac Aonghusa, 24, said fellow passengers on his Ryanair flight from Dublin were “angry” when the pilot announced there would be a delay due to the issues at Gatwick.

Mr Mac Aonghusa, who works in finance in Ireland, was travelling for the game between Crystal Palace and Liverpool and was delayed for an hour and 15 minutes.

It is believed that delays could be ongoing throughout the day.

A number of EasyJet flights were held at the runway (Gareth Fuller/PA)

One frustrated passenger took to X, formerly Twitter, to say: “Problems @Gatwick_Airport mean we’ve been sat on this plane for 2.5 hours with another 1.5 to go. The flight’s only about 45 mins ish usually!.”

Another woman expressed concern her grandchild would miss his trip to Lapland, while another said they had been stuck in Mallorca with no information for two hours.

A small number of EasyJet flights have been delayed while passengers are encouraged to check their airline’s website or social media for updates.

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