London Airspace Restricted Due to Technical Problem (Updated)


(Originally posted at 1545 GMT or 1045 EST and updated on 1620 GMT or 1120 EST) Breaking news – The BBC UK reported  and confirmed by NATS that London airspace is restricted from now to 1900 (7pm) GMT due to a technical problem.

Details – London Airspace Restricted

UK air traffic controllers NATS confirmed a “technical problem” at its Swanwick control centre in Hampshire.

It said in a statement “every possible action” was being taken to resolve the problem.

London’s airports reported:

  • at Heathrow Airport flights were “currently experiencing delays” and planes could be turned away
  • Incoming flights to Gatwick are continuing to land and all departing flights grounded
  • Stansted say it is currently working with Nats to find out how it will affect the airport

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.”


In our 2013 Busiest Airport post (refer to link), London Heathrow International Airport (IATA Airport Code – LHR) ranks third in the world for passenger traffic. The airspace closure may have significant problems for passengers travel in and out of London this Friday afternoon.

Check your airline for additional information if you have a flight in or out of London today from any of the four London airports. Flights may be diverted.

Here are the links to the departures for the four London airports:

London Heathrow

London Gatwick

London Stansted

London City

Updated at 1615 GMT

Systems have been restored and flights should return back to normal schedules. Given there was a 30 minute+ gap in the schedule, there may still be delays throughout the day that will ripple through Europe.