London Gatwick has taken immediate action to address recent air traffic control challenges and ensure passengers experience fewer delays and last-minute flight cancellations. In collaboration with NATS, the organization overseeing the Gatwick air traffic control tower, the airport has introduced a temporary daily flight limit of 800, encompassing both departures and arrivals. These restrictions are effective from today until Sunday, October 1.
The imposition of this daily cap is a proactive measure to mitigate disruptions stemming from issues such as staff illnesses and constraints. Passengers are strongly encouraged to verify the status of their flights directly with their respective airlines, with whom Gatwick has maintained close cooperation throughout this period.
Stewart Wingate, CEO of London Gatwick, acknowledged the challenging nature of this decision and emphasized that it will enable airlines to maintain reliable flight schedules, offering passengers greater assurance against last-minute cancellations. Gatwick is actively collaborating with NATS to bolster resilience within the control tower, striving to minimize disruptions as much as possible.
Wingate also expressed regret for any inconveniences experienced by affected passengers. Prior to the implementation of these restrictions, the anticipated flight movements for the week were as follows:
- Tuesday: 800 movements
- Wednesday: 829 movements
- Thursday: 840 movements
- Friday: 865 movements
- Saturday: 800 movements
- Sunday: 830 movements
It is important to note that 30% of NATS tower staff are currently unavailable due to various medical reasons, including COVID-19-related issues.