herald

Tuesday 23 October 2018

Flights delayed as air traffic control system hit by failure

Elaine Wyse and Matthew Birkett had a Manchester flight cancelled due to air traffic control issues. Photo: Caroline Quinn
Elaine Wyse and Matthew Birkett had a Manchester flight cancelled due to air traffic control issues. Photo: Caroline Quinn

Flight passengers were left frustrated after a fault with an air traffic control system led to delays and cancellations.

Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) said seven flights were cancelled yesterday while 17 had delays of between 30 minutes to an hour.

Almost half of all flights across Europe were impacted by the failure in "enhanced tactical flow management system", according to Eurocontrol, the Brussels-based agency responsible for air traffic control across Europe. The system is used to compare traffic demand with the available capacity.

Contingency plans were put in place, which saw a reduction in the capacity of the European network of around 10pc. The issue was resolved by 7pm.

However, some passengers had to make alternative arr- angements, with flights to Manchester, Gatwick and Birmingham cancelled.

Caoimhe Hatch (30), a nurse working in Britain, had been on a flight back to Gatwick when passengers were told they had to get off the plane.

Funeral

"There were around 45 on the plane and we were told we had to disembark," she said.

"I decided to take a later flight on Wednesday."

Caoimhe said she was already going to miss the start of her shift.

One couple were going to Birmingham for a funeral when their flight was cancelled. However, they got a morning flight and believed they would make it on time for the service.

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