London Gatwick Suspends All Flights Due to Air Traffic Control Systems Issues
Update: As of 7:10pm local time (2:10pm ET), operations have resumed at LGW.
All flights to and from London's Gatwick Airport (LGW) remain suspended on Wednesday evening local time, as the airport is reporting "an air traffic control systems issue" in its control tower.
At 5:47pm London time (12:47pm ET), the airport tweeted that all flights were suspended. The airport said it was working with Air Navigation Solutions (ANS), which provides the airport with air traffic control, to solve the issue.
About 27 minutes after the initial announcement, LGW said that its operations were still suspended.
As of 6:30pm London time, multiple flights with LGW as their destination could be seen circling the airspace around the airport. Others had been diverted. EasyJet Flight 8436, travelling from Basel (BSL) to LGW, circled over the English Channel before passing over LGW airspace, still at nearly cruising altitude and landing at East Midlands Airport (EMA) in Derby, about 160 miles north of Gatwick.
ANS has provided air navigation service provisions at LGW since March 2016. It's responsible for providing all air traffic control, air traffic engineering services, emergency and alerting services and meteorological services to the airport. ANS also provides services as Edinburgh Airport (EDI), though that airport does not seem to be affected at this time.
The suspension of operations will surely cause significant delays to operations. Gatwick is recommending that passengers scheduled to travel from the airport check with their airlines for flight updates.
This is a developing story...