Air passengers in the UK are suffering "severe delays" after the country's air traffic control system went down Monday. The National Air Traffic Services (NATS) said the "technical issue" was already fixed, but queues don't clear themselves fast, even when you're working with the world's best queuers.
"We are now working closely with airlines and airports to manage the flights affected as efficiently as possible," NATS said in a statement. "Our engineers will be carefully monitoring the system's performance as we return to normal operations. The flight planning issue affected the system's ability to automatically process flight plans, meaning that flight plans had to be processed manually which cannot be done at the same volume, hence the requirement for traffic flow restrictions.Our priority is always to ensure that every flight in the UK remains safe and we are sincerely sorry for the disruption this is causing. Please contact your airline for information on how this may affect your flight."
Heathrow Airport has said flights will remain "significantly disrupted" for the rest of Monday despite the technical issue with air traffic control being resolved.
A spokesperson said: "We ask passengers to only travel to the airport if their flight is confirmed as still operating.
"Teams across Heathrow are working as hard as they can to minimise the knock-on impacts and assist those whose journeys have been affected."
Don't fly unless you must, in other words. British Airways hasn't run a flight all day and "all check-in desks are closed," reports Sky News.
People are screaming "The Russians!" but this is much more likely to be old systems finally crapping out. It's too expensive to replace them–until an emergency forces the matter at even higher cost.