British air travel collapsed due to a bizarre flight plan
An aviation plan causes air traffic to collapse in the UK on August 28 – AIRportal.hu writes Based on a preliminary report from the air navigation services provider NATS.
At 4 a.m. local time, an unnamed airline submitted a flight plan to Eurocontrol, which automatically forwarded it to air navigation service providers in the affected airspace. NATS also received it, converted it into a suitable format, and then forwarded it to air traffic control units.
The problem was that the plan included two waypoints with the same name, but located 7,500 kilometers apart. Although these two points were outside UK airspace, the system was unable to process the plan, so it crashed instead.
Because of this, airspace capacity had to be set at 11am, but this was only possible with delays and cancellations. This mainly concerned flights departing from the country, but it also affected many incoming flights and those passing through the airspace.
The system was installed only at 6 pm, but by then the chaos was too great, which was felt in the following days. Also the next day, many flights were delayed and several cancelled.
NATS has promised to update the cloud software to filter out erroneous flight plans and put in place precautions to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. According to NATS, 1,500 flights had to be canceled on the 28th of this month, but according to Eurocontrol, the real number is more than 2,000, not to mention the delays.
Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s chief executive, said the report was not factual and was “full of nonsense”. He said on Twitter, that according to NATS, 570 flights have been delayed, although according to Ryanair alone, more than 1,000 flights have been delayed. He added that he believed it would be the right thing to do if NATS paid compensation to airlines for having to pay compensation to passengers.
“Heads shall fall in the Nats”