As it happened: UK and Ireland Flight delays

Key points

  • Telephone glitch at National Air Traffic Service delays flights at airports in the UK and Ireland
  • Air traffic officials say problem solved but delays to continue Saturday evening and into Sunday
  • Thousands of people affected at Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Cardiff, Glasgow and others
  • Traffic controllers handled 2,800 flights rather than usual 3,500 for a Saturday
  • Officials insist that safety "not compromised at any time" by glitch
  • Ryanair urges aviation regulator to intervene to prevent further disruption

Live text

Reporting:

  • Tom Geoghegan 
  • Anna Browning 

Last updated 7 December 2013

STANDARD 0901

Hello and welcome to our live page. A technical issue at Swanwick air traffic control centre is delaying flights at airports in UK and Ireland.

STANDARD 0856

Stansted, Gatwick, Southampton and Dublin airports are among those airports that have reported delays.

STANDARD 0908

Heathrow, Cardiff, Luton and London City airports have also said there are delays and they are asking passengers to check with their airlines.

STANDARD 0918

The National Air Traffic Control Service said its Swanwick centre, in Hampshire, was having "difficulty switching from night time to daytime operation".

STANDARD 0919

"Engineers are working to rectify the problem as soon as possible," a National Air Traffic Control Service spokesman said.

STANDARD 0920

For more information and the latest updates read the full story

STANDARD 0921

In Scotland, Edinburgh and Glasgow airports are also reporting delays.

STANDARD 0929

A spokesman for Stansted Airport said all of its flights were delayed for up to two hours. Gatwick said 20% of its departures had been delayed, with passengers being warned they may have to wait for "a couple of hours".

STANDARD 0930

Passengers at Heathrow

Passengers at Heathrow are waiting for flight updates. Travel reporter Simon Calder says people are facing "long delays" of up to 40 minutes in departures.

UK