Gatwick Cancels 26 Flights Day After Saying It Was ‘Business

  • Gatwick Airport canceled 26 flights on Tuesday due to “late-notice” staff absences.
  • The air traffic control staffing issues caused 13 departing and 13 arriving flights to be canceled.
  • This disruption came as the London airport announced it was lifting its passenger cap.

Gatwick Airport canceled flights in and out of London on Tuesday due to “late-notice” staff absences, a spokesperson confirmed to Insider. 

Gatwick told the BBC that 13 departing and 13 arriving flights were canceled due to staffing issues within air traffic control.

A spokesperson for the London airport told Insider: “Restrictions were put on the number of flights that could arrive into Gatwick yesterday, due to late notice staff absence in the airport’s control tower. We are operating as normal today.”

This comes just a day after the airport announced it was lifting its passenger cap, which limited the number of travelers that could pass through the airport, and declared it was back to “business as usual” after a chaotic summer of travel disruptions. 

Another London airport, Heathrow, extended its passenger cap by a month on August 15. This led major UK airline British Airways (BA) to cut a proportion of its scheduled winter flights, The BBC reported.

There have been several reports of airport staffing issues disrupting travel this summer. 

Earlier this month, an anonymous pilot based in Manchester Airport told iNews that although staffing issues and travel disruptions were generally improving, “as soon as one or two people start ringing in sick that whole kind of supply chain starts falling apart.”

Staff at Gatwick’s air traffic control center are employed by Air Navigation Solutions (ANS), rather than directly by the airport. 

Representatives for ANS did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment made outside of normal working hours.

An ANS spokesperson told the BBC on Tuesday that the company regretted any issues caused, saying it was “working closely” with the airport and airlines to minimize disruption.

The spokesperson said: “Despite thorough planning and pre-emptive contingency measures in place to address any potential issues, our capacity is currently being slightly affected by a series of isolated cases of short-notice sickness amongst our team of skilled air traffic controllers at London Gatwick.”

It added: “This, coupled with delays in Europe, has resulted in a small reduction in operations today.”