Heathrow Airport: Passengers face 'changes' to flight schedule due to strong winds and staff shortages
Passengers face flight disruption due to strong winds and staff shortages at Heathrow Airport
Passengers at Heathrow Airport are facing "minor changes" to flight schedules after strong winds and staff shortages led to air traffic control restrictions. The news follows reports from disgruntled flyers on social media on Sunday, who said their flights had been delayed or cancelled.
Here's everything you need to know about what happened at Heathrow Airport today.
What happened at Heathrow Airport today?
In a statement, Heathrow Airport said it is working with air traffic control after strong winds caused minor changes to Sunday's schedule.
A spokesperson for the airport said: “Strong wind is forecast today, while there may be minor changes to today’s schedule as a result of the weather, we want to reassure passengers that our colleagues are working in close collaboration with our airline and air traffic control partners to get them safely on their journeys as quickly as possible."
Passengers are being urged to check with their airline for the latest update and any changes to their flight schedule. Customers can do so by visiting the Heathrow website.
The National Air Traffic Services (Nats) said staff shortages were also a factor in the disruption.
“Due to short notice staff absence in the tower and strong winds at Heathrow, temporary ATC restrictions are currently in place,” Nats said in a statement.
“We expect the situation to improve this afternoon.
“We are working hard to minimise disruption, working closely with Heathrow airport and airlines."
Many jobs were lost in the industry during the pandemic, leading to a shortage of staff when restrictions were lifted. Since, there have been instances of cancellations, and lengthy queues as airports struggled with baggage handling, air traffic control and security.
“Restrictions of this sort are only ever applied to ensure safety and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
British Airways said that it had been forced to make some adjustments to its short-haul schedule as a result of the restrictions. “Air traffic control restrictions imposed on all airlines at London Heathrow mean we’ve had to make some adjustments to our short-haul schedule,” a spokesperson said.
“We’ve contacted affected customers to apologise and offer them rebooking options or a full refund.”