ATC meltdown
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Ryanair wants NATS CEO Rolfe replaced

NATS ops center, © NATS

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LONDON - An interim report into the air traffic control meltdown on 28 August 2023 has been published by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Heavily impacted Ryanair calls for management changes at NATS as a consequence of the broad ATC collapse over the busy bank holiday weekend.

A technical glitch at NATS caused major disruptions in the UK ATC system on 28 August 2023.

"The regulator estimates that over 700,000 passengers were impacted, including 300,000 people by cancellations, 95,000 by long delays of over 3 hours, and a further 300,000 by shorter delays," the CAA concluded this week.

While NATS has already addressed a number of findings arising from its own internal investigation, Ryanair calls for management changes at the UK air navigation service provider.

"The CAA report confirms - unbelievably - that NATS engineers were sitting at home in their pyjamas on the UK’s August bank holiday weekend, which is one of the busiest travel weekends of the year for air travel," Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary said. "In any properly managed ATC service, engineers would be onsite to cover system breakdowns instead of sitting at home unable to log into the system."

"The fact that key NATS engineers were sitting at home during one of the peak travel weekends, combined with findings that NATS has a fundamental lack of pre-planning, documentation, and coordination, clearly demands senior management changes," O'Leary argued for the replacement NATS CEO Martin Rolfe.
© | Image: NATS | 14/03/2024 12:55

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