Student misery as airport fault halts Christmas getaway

December 7, 2013 1:37 PM

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Students left stranded for second time in a week as an airport fault stops planes flying

Plans for a peaceful Christmas getaway for thousands of students were scrapped today following an airport traffic control centre fault.

Airports including Heathrow, Dublin, Cardiff, Stansted and Glasgow were all reporting delays and cancellations after a control service in Hampshire was having trouble “switching from night time to daytime operation”.

The problem has angered students at the University, with one describing the situation to Vision as “absolutely ridiculous.”

“My flight to Sweden has been cancelled and now I’m on a 4 hour long queue. Wtf,” Vinh Dang, a first-year PPE student said.

A statement issued by the National Air Traffic Control Service apologised for the “inconvenience” to passengers.

“In the early hours of this morning, a technical problem occurred at our Area Control centre at Swanwick. The problem is related to the internal telephone system used by our air traffic controllers and is expected to take about six hours to resolve,” it said.

Other airports including Belfast, Edinburgh, Manchester and Birmingham are also reporting delays and asking passengers to check with their airlines for travel information.

Britain’s busiest airport – Heathrow – had axed 60 flights by 09:45 GMT both for arrivals and departures because of the technical blunder.

It comes as some students were left stranded earlier in the week as strong winds halted road and rail networks.

Timetabled services were axed and trees were blown down in the 80mph gusts.


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