Air traffic has returned to normal in Britain after hours of delays and cancellations of flights using British airspace, due to what the British National Air Navigation Authority said was a “technical problem”, which was identified and dealt with, without further explanation.
On Monday morning, the authority was forced to restrict flight movements and deal manually with aircraft after the problem affected the ability of its system to process navigation traffic automatically, with airlines and airports warning of delays and cancellations of a number of flights.
The authority said in a statement: “We have identified and addressed the technical issue that affected our flight planning system this morning. We are now working closely with airlines and airports to manage the affected flights as efficiently as possible. Our engineers will carefully monitor the performance of the system when we return to the airport.” normal operations.”
Earlier, Irish air traffic control said the problem had led to “significant delays to flights across Europe traveling to, from or through UK airspace”.
A spokesman for London’s Heathrow Airport, the busiest hub in Western Europe, said the airport was working with the Air Navigation Authority to minimize the impact on passengers, while Gatwick, south London, said it was seeing multiple delays and cancellations.
British Airways said its flights were severely disrupted and had made “significant changes” to its schedule, while other airlines, including Ryanair, said some flights to and from the UK would be delayed or cancelled.
Manchester and London Stansted airports were among several airports in the UK that warned of possible disruption to flights, while Dublin Airport said the problems had led to delays and cancellations of some flights to and from the Irish capital.
Many passengers took to social media to say they were stuck on the tarmac waiting to take off, or confined to airport terminals, in Spain, Portugal, Greece, Israel and elsewhere on a busy travel day.