News that the airspace over London, England, was closed broke on Friday morning. Reports that a computer glitch was to blame surfaced.
As this is a breaking news story, we do not have many details of how many planes have been forced to divert and find alternative landing runways.
A power outage at the Swanwick control center in Hampshire is to blame for closing London’s airspace, according to Sky News (via Fox News). BBC News states London airspace has been closed until 19:00 GMT following the cited computer failure, air traffic controllers have said.
The statement was issued by Eurocontrol’s website, while the Huffington Post UK reports that passengers have been warned to expect “severe delays.”
What we know is that passengers currently traveling in and out of London are suffering delays in their flights due to the closed airspace. Both major airports, Heathrow and Gatwick, are experiencing incoming and departing delays.
According to BBC News, Eurocontrol said, “There has been a failure of the flight data computer server at London ACC (area control centre). Engineers are working on the problem and more information will be given when available.”
— AirLive.net (@airlivenet) December 12, 2014
— Jonny Hallam (@Jonny_Hallam) December 12, 2014
Reports started coming in about 25 minutes ago, and it is making a real mess. Heathrow airport — one of the busiest in the world — is currently closed, as is Gatwick. Other area airports such as Manchester are still currently functioning, according to a report from Fox News.
Stay tuned for more news on the situation with the London airspace closure.
UPDATE: News that the London skies have reopen to incoming and outbound flights was just reported by Fox News’ Greg Palkot, who is based in the English capital. Even though the airspace is no longer closed, passengers can still expect delays, as air traffic controllers work to normalize the emergency, according to this report.
A video from someone stuck in the chaos that ensued after London’s airspace was closed, was posted by what appears to be a passenger on one of the planes stuck on the runway and shows an endless line of airliners waiting to take off. News that gridlock is currently affecting all area airports including Heathrow, are being reported on social media. More news to follow.
[Image via Twitter]