Gatwick Airport suspended flights for nearly two hours after the IT system in the airport’s control tower was hit by a power failure.
The power outage caused the air traffic control systems to shut down just after 5pm on Wednesday, causing delays and cancellations to all inbound and outbound flights, before normal operations resumed around 7pm.
“It was a power failure. It was in relation to the IT systems within the control tower,” said a Gatwick Airport spokesman. “The system was rebooted and we managed to get it back online. There will be some delays and there will be some cancellations. Our advice is for people to check with their airlines.”
28 flights were cancelled and 26 diverted due to the problem, with a spokeswoman for NATS, the air traffic services provider for London’s Stansted and Luton airports, confirming the majority of flights had been diverted to those locations.
Passengers both at Gatwick and at other locations due to set off for the London airport reported being stuck on planes, in terminals and on the tarmac.
A spokesman for the airport said it aimed to return to a normal schedule without delays on Thursday, saying: “The ambition is it should run as usual.”
Gatwick experienced severe disruption in December, when flights were suspended for 30 hours due to drone sightings, affecting 140,000 passengers.