Advert

Sick air-traffic controllers force Gatwick to close runway four times

Only one out of three turned up for work

Gatwick was forced to shut its runway when only one air traffic controller (ATC) was available, the airport said.

Several inbound flights were diverted or delayed due to the staff shortage at the West Sussex airport.

Only one controller out of the scheduled three was able to work in the control tower, reportedly due to sickness.

Controllers need to take two one-hour breaks per shift, meaning the runway was closed from 1.40am-3.20am and 4.10am-5.20am on Sunday and Monday - four closures in total.

Two inbound flights were diverted and several were delayed in the early hours of Sunday morning, with a further four delayed on Monday.

There were no scheduled departures during those periods.

Responsibility for air traffic control at Gatwick switched from Nats to Air Navigation Solutions in March 2016.

Gatwick believes the staffing issue has been resolved.

An airport spokesman confirmed the runway closed "due to a shortage of available air traffic controllers during the night shift".

He added: "We worked closely with air traffic controllers and airlines to minimise the impact to passengers. We apologise for the inconvenience caused."

Advert

See our Comments Policy Comments are submitted under the express understanding and condition that the editor may, and is authorised to, disclose any/all of the above personal information to any person or entity requesting the information for the purposes of legal action on grounds that such person or entity is aggrieved by any comment so submitted. Please allow some time for your comment to be moderated.

Comments not loading? We recommend using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox with javascript turned on.
Comments powered by Disqus  
Advert
Advert