Passengers at Gatwick Airport experienced a major delay this Saturday due to a system collapse that paralyzed flights. The planes stranded on the runway were reported at around 8 a.m. at West Sussex Airport.
The airport confirmed that the air traffic control disruption has been resolved but apologized for the continued delay. The incident affected many departures and arrivals, with football fans heading to Premier League matches among those affected.
A spokesperson for London Gatwick stated: “There was an outage in a local NATS system this morning, which is now being rectified. Some passengers may experience delays. We apologize for any inconvenience.”
This disruption led to the cancellation of one flight, two diversions, and long waits for baggage claims, causing frustration for passengers.
On social media, passengers expressed their dissatisfaction, saying they had to wait up to three hours for luggage. In response to questions, Gatwick Airport reiterated the shutdown of the NATS system and its resolution.
A spokesperson for NATS commented, “In a short time this morning, there was a technical problem that was quickly resolved. To ensure safety, departures were temporarily suspended but resumed around 8 am. “We are working with airlines to minimize delays and apologize for any affected travel.”
Ryanair has called for the resignation of NATS CEO
Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary renewed his criticism of the CEO of NATS, Martin Rolfe, citing his handling of the system’s repeated failures, including the current incident and the previous failure on Aug. 28. O’Leary called for Rolfe’s resignation or firing, citing recurring problems under his leadership.
“After the failure of the NATS system in August, Martin Rolfe He claims it’s a 1 in 15 million technological error. But here we are again, 3 months later, and UK NATS failed again at Gatwick. Thousands of passengers are now facing long delays, diversions, and cancellations as NATS, under the incompetent leadership of Martin Rolfe, fails yet again. It’s time for Martin Rolfe to go.”
“With an annual package of over £1.5 million, this clown has proven his worth time and time again. If he doesn’t resign, Transport Minister Mark Harper (who owns 50% of NATS) will have to fire him. These repeated failures of the UK NATS system are unique to the UK and have not been repeated by any other European air traffic control service. Our passengers want a competent air traffic control service in the UK, and Martin Rolfe has proven time and time again that he cannot deliver. “He needs to step down and let someone more competent run air traffic control in the UK.”