NATS technical failure impact ‘critical’

Air traffic delays caused by a glitch at NATS’s London en-route centre are continuing to cause severe problems and are impacting the European network to a critical level.

During the night, UK NATS’s London centre at Swanwick suffered a technical failure of its ground-ground voice communications system.

This resulted in the inability of the centre to operate a sufficient number of en-route ATC sectors to accommodate the expected traffic demand during the day.

As soon as it was informed about this technical failure, the European Network Manager Eurocontrol, through its operations centre, started coordinating with NATS and with its own Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre, in addition to French and the Dutch air traffic control to mitigate the severe network impact of the technical failure.

Eurocontrol said around 500 flights had been re-routed by 4.30pm around the London centre and many others offered lower flight levels.

“Despite all those measures, the network situation remains critical at 16:00 CET (3pm GMT),” said Eurocontrol.

It added that around 130,000 minutes of delay are currently expected across the network with approximately 1,300 flights (almost 8 per cent of the European traffic today) being severely delayed.

“It is hoped that through further coordinated actions, the Network Manager will diminish the current levels of air traffic delay,” said Eurocontrol, adding, “Eurocontrol will continue to coordinate all the appropriate network mitigation actions to limit the impact of this technical failure.”

In its latest technical update at 4.20pm Eurocontrol said NATS technicians had found an interim solution and were on track to restore the voice communications systems by 6pm.

“There are still high dla’s (delays) in most of the sctr’s (sectors), and the regulations have now been extended until 23.59 to manage the residual traffic,” it said, adding that the Heathrown night-time jet ban will be lifted.

Read More: NATS to fix voice comms glitch by 6.30pm?

Posted in CAAs/ANSPs, Communications, Operations, Uncategorized

One Response to NATS technical failure impact ‘critical’

  1. A few Panels short of a Day shift says:

    Well the fixed it by 19:00, so that was pretty good estimation