Stansted Airport flight-delay after landing system damaged

screens at Stansted
Image caption Flights were unable to land at Stansted for about three hours after equipment was damaged

Flights were barred from landing at Stansted Airport after equipment was damaged by an incoming aircraft.

The Gulfstream G550 jet struck the Essex airport's instrument landing system (ILS) transmitter on the runway, but managed to land safely.

Air accident investigators are investigating the "incident".

The airport said departing flights were unaffected but there were likely to be delays and cancellations because of the disruption to inbound flights.

Ryanair reported some of its services had been diverted to Birmingham and East Midlands airports.

Poor visibility

A Stansted spokesman said flights began landing again during late morning, after a period of around three hours when no touchdowns were possible.

The spokesman said: "Earlier this morning, an arriving Gulfstream G550 was involved in an incident that has resulted in some damage to our ILS. The aircraft landed safely.

"As a result of this incident and low visibility, there have been restrictions on arriving flights. However, the fog has now lifted and arriving flights are now being accepted.

"Departing flights are unaffected at this time but there could be delays and cancellations later in the day as a result of the earlier disruption to inbound aircraft."

The ILS is a radio beam transmitter that incoming aircraft can follow in order to land in poor visibility.

'Check flights'

A spokeswoman for air traffic control company Nats, which is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the equipment, said it was positioned at the end of the runway and was struck by the aircraft.

The incident follows the serious disruption to flights at Stansted and other UK airports last Saturday, because of technical problems at the Hampshire headquarters of Nats.

Stansted said Nats had engineers on site who were "currently working to resolve the issue and return the airfield to normal operations as quickly as possible".

"As a result, flights will be subject to delay and cancellations so passengers are advised to check their flight status on their airline's website," a spokesman said.