Disruptions over British airspace continue after IT glitch

British Airways has cancelled a further 20 flights today, following an IT glitch at the UK’s main traffic control centre yesterday.
Services to Edinburgh, Paris, Dublin, Brussels and Venice were cancelled after planes were left in the wrong locations overnight. The airline was also forced to cancel 35 short-haul flights yesterday.Other airlines, including easyJet, also continue to suffer disruption to services due to the computer breakdown at Swanwick, Hampshire.
More than 10,000 passengers were stranded yesterday after some 90 flights were scrapped at London’s main airports, most notably Heathrow and Luton. Services at Cardiff International and Manchester were also affected.
A BA spokesman said: “Some of our planes are in the wrong location due to yesterday’s cancellations, but the flights we’ve had to cancel today are all on multi-frequency routes and we are not experiencing any delays to other services.”
The computer failure affected the monitoring of flights when they reach an altitude above 24,000ft, meaning that no planes could pass across the south-east at higher altitudes. Planes flying below 24,000 feet could continue because they were being handled by a separate system.
This is not the first time that the £623m air traffic control centre has caused problems. It was blighted by computer glitches shortly after opening in 2002, with air traffic controllers at one point being forced to rely on handwritten pieces of paper for the call sign and route of each aircraft. Swanwick unveiled a £50m system upgrade in March 2007.
The West Drayton centre suffered another failure in June 2004, with Gatwick services particularly badly disrupted.
The West Drayton centre suffered another failure in June 2004, with Gatwick services particularly badly disrupted.
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