Its Déjà vu all over again, UK experiences ATC failure

The UK has just experienced a major air traffic control failure, one that has delayed and disrupted thousands of people. It was the flight planning system that faltered. Thank goodness NATS did not cry drone, they couldn’t the entire country was affected.

Very interesting that the iNewspaper has this line in its reporting.

A UK intelligence source who formerly worked at GCHQ told i it was “a good working assumption” that the issues stemmed from a hack.

This is exactly the story that reached me from different sides of the Atlantic when the Gatwick drone incident occurred in 2018. It was suggested then by security types that it was a hack covered up.

In 2019 I very nievly thought we might receive the truth of what occurred at Gatwick quickly. It is all still covered by smoke and mirror tactics.

The Gatwick drone narrative has been part of a double hammer blow to the UK drone industry.

Brexit caused uncertainty as to which rules would be followed once it had happened, will the UK be following EASA or will the UK do its own thing?

The UK was set to roll out much more permissive rules before Gatwick and they were pushed aside by the story and hysteria that surrounded it. Distrust abounded. Some operators had the ear of the government and tried to make sure when things shook out they would be on top.

The Gatwick narrative was based on fear uncertainty and doubt, absolutely no solid proof of drones in the sky has been provided and when counter-drone systems from the RAF arrived their advice was ignored.

This has led to several UK start-ups choosing Ireland as their place to grow, inside the EU and with a clear EASA plan to follow.

NATS timeline 28th August 2023

Statement at 14:20 UK BST

This morning’s technical issue is affecting our ability to automatically process flight plans. Until our engineers have resolved this, flight plans are being input manually which means we cannot process them at the same volume, hence we have applied traffic flow restrictions.  Our technical experts are looking at all possible solutions to rectify this as quickly as possible.

Our priority is ensuring every flight in the UK remains safe and doing everything we can to minimise the impact. Please contact your airline for information on how this may affect your flight.  We are sincerely sorry for the disruption this is causing.

Statement at 15:15 UK BST

We have identified and remedied the technical issue affecting our flight planning system this morning.  We are now working closely with airlines and airports to manage the flights affected as efficiently as possible.  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.

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