Long delays at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport due to computer problem

Amsterdam's Schiphol airport suffered a serious computer problem at air traffic control, causing scores of flights to be diverted, cancelled or delayed.
Amsterdam's Schiphol airport suffered a serious computer problem at air traffic control, causing scores of flights to be diverted, cancelled or delayed.PHOTO: AFP

AMSTERDAM (REUTERS) – A major computer malfunction crippled traffic at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport on Wednesday (Feb 1) causing the delay or cancellation of more than 100 flights at one of Europe’s largest transportation hubs.

Passengers faced hours of delays due to a technical problem at the Netherlands’ Air Traffic Control, forcing flights to be diverted to alternative European airports, a spokesman said.

KLM, the national carrier, cancelled flights to Germany, Belgium, Britain and the United States, among others. “We are not sure yet what the cause is or how long it will take to fix it,” said Schiphol spokesman Paul Weber.

A reboot of computer systems failed to resolve the issue. Air traffic control spokeswoman Maj-Britt van Raalte said the airport was unable to handle the normal number of flights, but declined to provide details about the cause of the malfunction. 

“We are doing everything possible to find a solution,” she said.

Schiphol ranks among Europe’s most congested airports with 58 million passengers in 2015.

Flights were being redirected to Germany’s Munich airport and Rotterdam, among others. KLM said on its website that “all flights to, from or via Amsterdam Airport Schiphol are disrupted” and advised passengers to rebook travel or seek a refund.