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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Air traffic control staff shortages to blame for Gatwick flight delays

Gatwick Airport was thrown into chaos yesterday (Thursday) with last-minute flight delays, cancellations and diversions blamed on a severe shortage of air traffic controllers.

The airport – one of the UK’s busiest – grappled with frustrated passengers and airlines left in the lurch.

Gatwick Airport officially confirmed 22 flight cancellations at 10pm.

FlightRadar24 – the aviation tracking website – reported that hundreds of flights both departing and arriving at the airport were experiencing significant delays.

Formal apology

The National Air Traffic Services (Nats), the UK’s air traffic control provider, issued a formal apology for the staffing shortages, acknowledging the extensive disruptions.

Despite the disruption, Gatwick Airport expressed optimism, assuring passengers that they could expect a return to normality today.

This recent disruption follows closely on the heels of another crisis just over two weeks ago when a technical issue at Nats led to the cancellation of a staggering 2,000 flights across the UK.

Commitment to minimising future disruptions

Gatwick Airport issued a statement expressing its commitment to working closely with Nats to enhance the resilience of the airport’s control tower and minimise future disruptions.

Nats offered apologies to affected passengers and airlines, emphasising that the airlines were aware of the situation when they were appointed and asserting regret for the inconvenience caused by the recent wave of disruptions.

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