Flight chaos inquiry to be launched

File picture of planes at Heathrow. Picture: PA
File picture of planes at Heathrow. Picture: PA

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AN independent inquiry is to be held into an unprecedented computer systems failure at the UK’s national air traffic control centre in Swanwick.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has said an inquiry will be launched into Friday’s incident, which saw flights delayed and cancelled in the south of England.

The problem, involving computer code written a quarter of a century ago, was responsible for widespread disruption at British airports.

Richard Deakin, chief executive of Nats, the company responsible for controlling British airspace, said the software glitch was ‘buried’ among millions of lines of code at the site in Swanwick.

The CAA and Nats have agreed to the establishment of an independent inquiry following the disruption ‘caused by the failure in air traffic management systems’.

In a statement, the CAA said: ‘The CAA will, in consultation with Nats, appoint an independent chair of the panel which will consist of Nats technical experts, a board member from the CAA and independent experts on information technology, air traffic management and operational resilience.’