16 DECEMBER 2013

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Article from BTNews 16 DECEMBER 2013

Air traffic control delays

Travellers flying from Britain’s airports were subjected to delays on December 7 when a fault at the National Air Traffic Control Service (NATS) centre at Swanwick led to problems at many major airports.

NATS said it was having "difficulty switching from night time to daytime operation" and it is understood that the problem revolved around the internal phone network, which meant that controllers could not pass on important data to each other. The problem was not resolved until around 19.30hrs and the inevitable delays had a knock on effect for at least another 24 hours.

Ryanair alone had 300 flights delayed and twelve cancelled completely. In a statement the airline said: "Ryanair is calling on the CAA to intervene and prevent further chaos for thousands of passengers affected by this ATC failure.

"While we acknowledge problems can occur, where is the contingency? It's simply not good enough and the CAA needs to act now. We apologise to affected passengers, however these circumstances are entirely beyond our control."

British Airways confirmed customers on its cancelled flights would be able to claim a full refund or be rebooked on to alternative flights.  www.nats.aero

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