Author Topic: London airspace closed after computer failure  (Read 1610 times)

Offline thaiga

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London airspace closed after computer failure
« on: December 12, 2014, 10:53:58 PM »
London airspace has been closed until 19:00 GMT after a computer failure, air traffic controllers have said.

The news was announced in a brief message on flight safety body Eurocontrol's website.

UK air traffic controllers Nats confirmed a "technical problem" at its Swanwick control centre in Hampshire.

It said in a statement "every possible action" was being taken to resolve the problem.

London's airports reported:

    at Heathrow Airport flights were "currently experiencing delays" and planes could be turned away
    Incoming flights to Gatwick are continuing to land and all departing flights grounded
    Stansted say it is currently working with Nats to find out how it will affect the airport

Eurocontrol said: "There has been a failure of the flight data computer server at London ACC [area control centre].

"Engineers are working on the problem and more information will be given when available."
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

Offline thaiga

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Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

Offline thaiga

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Re: London airspace closed after computer failure ♦ Flights recover
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2014, 12:07:05 PM »

Airport disruption: Flights recover after Nats system failure

Airports are returning to normal, apart from a small number of flight cancellations at Heathrow, the day after a computer failure at the UK's air traffic control centre.

National Air Traffic Services (Nats) said a technical fault in the flight data system at its Swanwick centre, in Hampshire, had caused the problem.

This resulted in widespread disruption at airports around the UK on Friday.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the situation was "unacceptable".

The Swanwick centre was restored to "full operational capacity" by Friday afternoon, Nats said.

Heathrow Airport has cancelled about 16 flights on Saturday morning, while Gatwick Airport says it will be operating a full service.

Many other airports are also due to run their scheduled Saturday flights on time, according to their websites.

Cause undefined
The glitch caused many delays at the busy Heathrow and Gatwick airports, where departing flights were grounded for a time.

Dozens of arrivals and departures at airports across southern England, and as far north as Aberdeen and Edinburgh, were also delayed and cancelled.

Many passengers have had to stay in hotels overnight because of rescheduled flights.

The Independent's travel editor, Simon Calder, said it would be an expensive incident for the airlines, estimating they would pay £2m to £5m in compensation.

"It all depends how much they have to hand back to passengers. If a flight is delayed, even if it's nothing to do with the airline that's caused it, the airline is responsible for looking after the passengers."

The problems came a year after a telephone failure at the Hampshire control room caused huge disruption - one of a number of technical hitches to hit the part-privatised Nats since the centre opened in 2002.

Swanwick controls the 200,000 square miles of airspace above England and Wales, cost £623m to build, and employs about 1,300 controllers.

But the facility, which handles 5,000 flights every 24 hours, has had a troubled history.

It opened in 2002, six years after its planned commissioning date - a delay which Nats said was due to problems with the software used to power its systems.

Almost a year after it opened, a senior air traffic controller raised concerns with the BBC about health and safety standards and complications with radio communications - which he said cut out erratically.

Technical problems and computer faults hit flights in 2008 and again last summer. And, in December 2013, problems with the internal telephone system then caused further delays.

Nats said on Friday evening that a "thorough investigation" was being carried out to "identify the root cause" of the disruption.

Managing director Martin Rolfe has ruled out both a computer hack and a power outage as possible causes.

Mr McLoughlin said any disruption to the nation's aviation system was a matter of the utmost concern "especially at this time of year in the run-up to the holiday season".

"Disruption on this scale is simply unacceptable and I have asked Nats for a full explanation... I also want to know what steps will be taken to prevent this happening again."

The RAF - which has its own air traffic control systems - said the UK military had been unaffected.
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

Offline nookiebear

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Re: London airspace closed after computer failure
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2014, 07:16:05 AM »
I find it interesting that it states the airlines will be paying compensation to passengers .........As they already pay for rights to land,park & take off surely it should be the CAA WHO SHOULD BE COUGHING UP!
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