Flights resume at London's Gatwick Airport after 'control systems issue'

An arrivals board at Gatwick Airport, after the airport reopened to flights following drone activity in 2018.
An arrivals board at Gatwick Airport, after the airport reopened to flights following drone activity in 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - London's Gatwick Airport resumed flights on Wednesday (July 10) after closing its runway for nearly two hours due to "an air traffic control systems issue," it said.

Britain's second-biggest air hub restarted landings and take-offs around 7pm local time (2am on Thursday, Singapore time) but warned passengers to check flight information with their airlines.

"Following an earlier air traffic control systems issue, flights to and from Gatwick have now resumed," it said on Twitter.

"If you are travelling this evening please check the status of your flight with your airline before travelling to the airport, as we return to full operations."

Disruption was expected for several hours as the airport tried to resume its regular schedule and ease the backlog in delayed departures and landings.

Gatwick suspended all flights just after 5:00 pm, saying it was working with its air traffic control provider "to rectify this issue as quickly as possible".

Air Navigation Solutions (ANS), a private company, has controlled plane movements at the airport since 2016.

Gatwick, around 48km south of the British capital, made headlines last December after closing its runway repeatedly due to reports of mystery drone sightings nearby, impacting nearly 140,000 passengers.

The airport, the eighth-busiest in Europe, serves numerous low-cost carriers and is EasyJet's biggest hub.