French Error Blamed for UK’s Air Control Meltdown Which Left 300,000 Passengers With Cancellations

What caused Monday’s error in the United Kingdom’s air traffic control system, which left thousands of passengers stranded?

Wednesday Independent reported that it may have been triggered by “incorrectly submitted flight plan by a French airline.”

Several sources say the problem may have been caused when a French airline submitted a dodgy flight plan that made no digital sense. Rather than being ruled out, the error brought the entire National Air Traffic Services (Nats) system to a standstill – raising questions about how a technical error could cause such chaos… Downing Street launched an independent review of the incident, which has sparked more than one a quarter of flights at UK airports will be canceled on Monday…

In a statement, Nats chief executive Martin Rolfe said Nats systems, both primary and backup, responded to the incorrect flight data by stopping automatic processing “to ensure that incorrect information could not be presented safety-related information to an air traffic controller or affect the rest of the air traffic system”.
The article also states that “passengers affected by the breakdown in air traffic control face such stranded abroad for up to a week.”

Around 300,000 airline passengers have already been affected by canceled flights following the hours-long Nats system crash on Bank Holiday Monday. The knock-on effect is expected to last for several more days as hard-pressed airlines grapple with a week of backlogs when millions are already returning to the UK from their summer holidays.
Thanks to a Slashdot reader Bruce66423 to share the article.

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