- London’s Gatwick Airport was forced to suspend all flights after its air-traffic-control system failed around 5 p.m. London time.
- Inbound flights that were already airborne were forced to divert to other airports, while other flights were delayed.
- As of 7 p.m. London time, flight operations had resumed, but significant residual delays were expected.
A major air-traffic-control systems failure led to London’s Gatwick airport implementing a complete ground stop on Wednesday evening.
At around 5 p.m. London time, the airport suspended all flights as it worked to resolve the issue. A 7 p.m. update from the airport said flights had resumed but suggested that residual delays were expected as the airport worked to bring operations back to normal.
Numerous inbound flights that were already in the air when the failure occurred were seen diverting to other nearby airports in cities such as England’s Birmingham and Brighton, based on data shown by the flight-tracking software Flightradar24.
Later flights were shown to be delayed, including departing flights.
In a statement issued at 7 p.m. local time, Gatwick said:
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.
Gatwick is the UK’s second-busiest airport, and the eighth-busiest in Europe.