Flights suspended at London Gatwick for two hours over control problem

Flights have resumed but passengers may face knock-on delays

Gatwick Airport pictured from above. File image: Jeffrey Milstein/Gatwick Airport handout/PA Wire

Gatwick Airport pictured from above. File image: Jeffrey Milstein/Gatwick Airport handout/PA Wire

 

Flights were suspended for two hours at London’s Gatwick Airport following a problem with its air traffic control systems.

The issue in the airport’s control tower triggered the suspension shortly after 5pm on Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for the airport said as of 7.30pm a total of 26 flights had been diverted and eight cancelled, but warned the number could change.

During the suspension, the airport apologised to passengers and said it was working with ANS, its air traffic control provider, to fix the problem.

Gatwick saids: “Due to an air traffic control systems issue in Gatwick’s control tower, flights were suspended between 17.08 and 19.00.

“Flights have resumed, but passengers are advised to check the status of their flight with their airline before travelling to the airport as we return to full operations.”

A spokeswoman for NATS, the air traffic services provider for London’s Stansted and Luton airports, said flights had been mainly diverted to those locations.

A spokeswoman for the Dublin Airport Authority said on Wednesday evening that two flights in and out of Dublin Airport had been affected.

“We always advise passengers to check the latest flight information with their airlines as it is best placed to provide information.”

Passengers left sitting on grounded planes at Gatwick complained on social media about the absence of refreshments.

More than 1,000 flights were cancelled at the airport over three days last December, affecting more than 140,000 passengers, after repeated drone sightings forced it to close the runway. - Additional reporting PA, Guardian