Live updates

  1. National

French air traffic controllers call off strike early

A strike by French air traffic controllers has been called off, sparing British passengers further days of travel misery. Credit: PA

French air traffic controllers have called off a strike three days early, to the relief of British air passengers who faced disruption to their services this week.

British Airways, Ryanair and easyjet were forced to cancel some services on Tuesday and yesterday because of the action, which had been due to carry on until the end of Sunday.

Air traffic manage backlog of flights

NATS air traffic controllers are working with airlines toclear the backlog of flights following runway closures at Heathrow today.

Controllers at Heathrow airport, as well as airports in the South East, are working out which flights are most important to help contain the situation.

Both runways were closed at Heathrow this morningafter a BA flight to Oslo had engine problems and returned to the airport.

We have well-rehearsed plans and processes in place forhandling an incident like this but nevertheless it has been extremely busy forour controllers in Swanwick and at a lot of our airport operations.

– NATS Managing Director Martin Rolfe

Advertisement

Government decision on air control sell off

The Government is to keep its share of the Hampshire based National Air Traffic Service. It had been looking at selling it to help pay the national debt. Following a campaign by unions - who claimed if it was in the hands of the private sector safety may be compromised - it will keep its share.

At the moment airlines, staff and the Government are responsible for the service with no one having an overall majority stake.