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
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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 seizes one ton of ketamine on boat, arrests six Myanmar crew

Updated 22 September 2019

India seizes one ton of ketamine on boat, arrests six Myanmar crew

  • India’s coast guard seized $42 million worth of ketamine

NEW DELHI: India’s coast guard has arrested six Myanmar men and seized $42 million worth of ketamine after spotting a suspicious vessel in the Indian Ocean near the Nicobar Islands.
The 1,160-kilogram drug haul came after coast guard aircraft spotted the boat, which had its lights off, on Wednesday in India’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the defense ministry said in a statement.
The boat’s crew did not respond to radio calls and the coast guard eventually boarded it, with officials finding “57 gunny bundles of suspicious substance” on Friday.
“Preliminary analysis ... revealed that the suspicious substance was ketamine and there were 1,160 packets of 1kg each onboard the vessel,” the ministry added.
The six Myanmar men and cargo were taken to Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, where they were questioned by investigators.
They claimed they left Myanmar on September 14 and were due to rendezvous with another boat “operating near the Thailand-Malaysia maritime border line” on Saturday, the statement said.
The Nicobar Islands are located near Southeast Asia, off Myanmar’s coast.
Parts of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand are in the lawless “Golden Triangle” zone, the world’s second-largest drug-producing region after Latin America.
Large amounts drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine are churned out in remote jungle labs each year and smuggled across Asia and beyond.