Live updates

Advertisement

Nats warned of potential computer glitch 'months ago'

Credit: PA Wire

National Air Traffic Services bosses were warned that plans to deal with any technical failures lacked "detail and clarity," four months before Friday's computer glitch caused widespread disruption to UK airports, according to the Independent on Sunday.

National Air Traffic Services (Nats) insisted yesterday that the failure was one that had "not been seen before", but the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) told the partly privatised agency this summer it needed to be better prepared after a similarly devastating IT glitch a year ago.

As Britain's major airports returned to normal service this weekend, experts were also warning a huge redundancy programme at Nats might have deepened the problem, and result in serious future meltdowns, the paper reports.

Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin will expect tough questioning over industry cost-cutting when he faces a powerful committee of MPs tomorrow.

MP calls for air traffic chief to be stripped of bonus

File photo of the Air Traffic Control Tower at Heathrow Airport. Credit: PA Wire

A Labour MP has called for bonuses to be "stripped" from a senior industry leader after an unprecedented systems failure at the UK's national air traffic control centre.

The problem, involving an error in lines of computer code, was responsible for widespread disruption across Britain's airports.

Richard Deakin, chief executive of Nats, the company responsible for controlling British airspace, said the software glitch was "buried" among millions of lines of code at the site in Swanwick, Hampshire.

Paul Flynn, a Labour MP, spoke out about Mr Deakin's role in today's Sunday Times.

I hope after the chaos, which was dreadful, though a rare event, he will have his bonuses stripped from him.

– Paul Flynn MP

Mr Deakin earns more than £1 million after receiving a 45% pay rise this year, according to The Sunday Times.

Flight chaos leaves passengers stranded for 24 hours

The flight chaos across UK airports left some passengers stranded for over 24 hours.

Oliver Flettner said he was only catching a 1 hr 30 minute flight to Dusseldorf but was still at Heathrow a day later due to the computer glitch.

He told ITV News: "We didn't bring any toothbrushes because we thought one and a half hours, that's fine. But we've been at the airport since yesterday at 3pm. Fun."

Although most of the backlog has now been cleared some flights will continue to be affected on Sunday so passengers are advised to check with their airline before they travel.

ITV News reporter Martha Fairlie has this report:

Nats: Air traffic glitch will not cause Christmas disruption

National Air Traffic Services (Nats) has assured passengers that there will be no further flight disruptions in the run up to Christmas.

A statement from Richard Deakin, Chief executive of Nats, read: "Once the backlog in the network has been caught up over this weekend, this issue will not cause further disruption over the holiday season."

He added: "Safety was not compromised at any time but we do sincerely apologise for the delays and inconvenience caused to passengers and our airport and airline customers.”

Advertisement

Air traffic control glitch due to computer coding error

A computer coding error was responsible for the air traffic control glitch that led to the closure of large parts of UK airspace yesterday, it has been confirmed.

Richard Deakin, Chief executive of Nats, told ITV News the software glitch was caused by "one error in one of the four million lines of code" that UK air traffic control uses.

Deakin also confirmed that when the air traffic control system went down "the automated tools that help controllers steer aircraft around the skies were not available" and it took 45 minutes to get the system back up and running.

Patrick McLoughlin to face computer glitch grilling

MP Louise Ellman, chair of the Transport Committee, said Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin will be asked about the incident when he appears before the panel on Monday.

She said: "I am very concerned about this major breakdown in UK air traffic control and the impact of the disruption this failure has caused on airports, airlines and passengers.

"In such circumstances safety remains paramount, but going forward it is vital that we establish what happened yesterday, and what NATS must do in order to ensure the same problem does not recur in future.

"I also hope that the committee will call NATS and the CAA to give evidence to us, so that we can get to the bottom of what led up to this weekend's events."

More: Air traffic glitch 'could not have come at a worse time'

Air traffic glitch 'could not have come at a worse time'

Tens of thousands of air passengers still face travel problems today as a result of yesterday's computer glitch, and one travel expert believes problems are set to extend into Sunday.

Simon Calder, Travel Editor at the Independent, told ITV News the outage "could not have come at a worst time", but suggested that further cancellations were now unlikely as the backlog cleared.

Air traffic control glitch 'not seen before'

Passangers stand in line waiting to check in at Heathrow airport, London, UK, 12 December 2014. Credit: Press Association Images

The National Air Traffic Services have said that the glitch that closed large parts of the airspace above the UK yesterday has "not been seen before."

The air traffic control company is continuing to investigate the cause of the computer error, a statement on their website said.

Load more updates