London airports reopened air traffic control outage, delays persist across Europe


Flight delays are plaguing much of Europe after air traffic control systems in England went down for about two hours.

A computer system failure Friday afternoon caused Eurocontrol to close access to British airports, including London-Heathrow and Gatwick. All facilities that fell under the London airspace umbrella were affected by the shutdown.

The airports were expected to stay closed until at least 7:00 p.m. GMT (2:00 p.m. EST), but had been reopened as of about 4:15 p.m. GMT, according to a statement from the National Press Office.

The issue originated at a facility in Swanwick, according to reports, but has since been restored.

Some inbound flights had been allowed to arrive, but all outbound traffic was prohibited during the outage, according to

Euroclear is the air traffic control authority responsible for directing flights in, out and around European air space.

Delays spread from the U.K. into mainland Europe. Countries affected include Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands. They persisted into the late afternoon.