UK air traffic control says flights returning to normal after technical problems

Britain's air traffic authority NATS said it had done enough to fix an earlier system issue for flights to start returning to normal after technical problems. (File/Reuters)
Updated 26 July 2019

UK air traffic control says flights returning to normal after technical problems

  • Earlier, Eurocontrol, NATS' pan-European equivalent, said the outage had caused a high level of delays at Heathrow and Gatwick, though they appeared to be easing
  • British Airways said it had been affected by severe weather conditions overnight as well as by the technical issue

LONDON:  Britain's air traffic authority NATS said it had done enough to fix an earlier system issue for flights to start returning to normal after technical problems delayed planes at Britain's two busiest airports, London's Heathrow and Gatwick.
The air traffic control issue had compounded travel chaos in London, with commuter trains impacted by a summer heatwave and the Eurostar rail link to France halted by a power cable failure.
"Following the technical problem at Swanwick air traffic control centre this morning, we have now fixed the issue sufficiently to safely increase traffic flow rates and will see an improving picture through the rest of the day," NATS said in a statement.
Earlier, Eurocontrol, NATS' pan-European equivalent, said the outage had caused a high level of delays at Heathrow and Gatwick, though they appeared to be easing.
British Airways said it had been affected by severe weather conditions overnight as well as by the technical issue.
"We are doing everything we can to minimise the disruption, and our teams are working tirelessly to ensure as many of our customers as possible are able to depart on their trips," it said in a statement.
"We have apologised to our customers, and are rebooking them onto alternative services or offering them hotel accommodation if necessary."


India celebrates Republic Day with military parade

Updated 26 January 2020

India celebrates Republic Day with military parade

  • Schoolchildren, folk dancers, and police and military battalions marched through New Delhi’s parade route

NEW DELHI: Thousands of Indians converged on a ceremonial boulevard in the capital amid tight security to celebrate the Republic Day on Sunday, which marks the 1950 anniversary of the country’s democratic constitution.
During the celebrations, schoolchildren, folk dancers, and police and military battalions marched through New Delhi’s parade route, followed by a military hardware display.
Beyond the show of military power, the parade also included ornate floats highlighting India’s cultural diversity as men, women and children in colorful dresses performed traditional dances, drawing applause from the spectators.
The 90-minute event, broadcast live, was watched by millions of Indians on their television sets across the country.
Brazilian President Jair Messias Bolsonaro was the chief guest for this year’s celebrations.
He was accorded the ceremonial Guard of Honor by President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Rashtrapati Bhawan, the sprawling presidential palace.
Bolsonaro joined the two Indian leaders as the military parade marched through a central avenue near the Presidential Palace.
At the parade, Bolsonaro watched keenly as mechanized columns of Indian tanks, rocket launchers, locally made nuclear-capable missile systems and other hardware rolled down the parade route and air force jets sped by overhead.
Apart from attending the Republic Day celebrations, Bolsonaro’s visit was also aimed at strengthening trade and investment ties across a range of fields between the two countries.
On Saturday, Modi and Bolsonaro reached an agreement to promote investment in each other’s country.
Before the parade, Modi paid homage to fallen soldiers at the newly built National War Memorial in New Delhi as the national capital was put under tight security cover.
Smaller parades were also held in the state capitals.
Police said five grenades were lobbed in the eastern Assam state by separatist militants who have routinely boycotted the Republic Day celebrations. No one was injured, police said.
Sunday’s blasts also come at a time when Assam has been witnessing continuous protests against the new citizenship law that have spread to many Indian states.
The law approved in December provides a fast-track to naturalization for persecuted religious minorities from some neighboring Islamic countries, but excludes Muslims.
Nationwide protests have brought tens of thousands of people from different faiths and backgrounds together, in part because the law is seen by critics as part of a larger threat to the secular fabric of Indian society.