Whiteboard as a stop-gap in passenger facilitation when the electronic display board totally shutdown in London Gatwick Airport
A glitch in the IT systems at the control towers in Gatwick airport Thursday morning, has caused over two hours’ delay in landing and the consequent massive disruptions in airlines’ and passengers’ schedules.
The massive IT outage from the service provider, Vodafone, shutdown all flights information display boards in London Gatwick airport, north and south of the terminal.
Airport staff were seen making frantic efforts and managed to revert to the very old system- the whiteboard.
The whiteboard was manually updated – flight Display Information- to provide the status of all flights due to depart London Gatwick Airport.
A British Airways flight BAW2256 which was due to arrive at Gatwick from Tampa this morning was forced to circle an area south of the airport before being diverted to Heathrow
A passenger, Lottie Wood, who was returning to Gatwick from her honeymoon, in her tweet, said her British Airways flight was diverted to Heathrow.
She said at Heathrow, they spent two hours waiting before they were flown back to Gatwick, arriving three hours after their expected arrival time.
Once at Gatwick, she said there was an issue with the baggage belt which Gatwick Airport said staff were working to get resolved.
Another passenger, Whiskey General, in his tweet narrated that, “currently waiting at Heathrow for our diverted B.A. flight to be refueled and head back to Gatwick. Mood- Calm.
Also affected was an EasyJet flight from Northern Ireland which was equally diverted to Luton Airport
However, a tweet by Gatwick airport explained that “earlier this morning, (Thursday 6th January 2022) we have been experiencing IT issues in the Air Traffic Control tower this morning, resulting in three diverted flights.
The tweet further narrated, “we continue to experience delays with both arrivals and departures, and are working to fully resolve this as soon as possible”.
One passenger said his flight had been diverted to Heathrow while his car was parked in Gatwick.
Later in the day, a statement issued by Gatwick Airport said the problem had been resolved but flights may still be delayed
It advised passengers to remain calm as the backlog of flights and baggage will ease out shortly and urged passengers to check status of their flight with their airlines.
However, by 19.10hrs local time, London Gatwick airport resumed normal operations to airlines and passengers.
Moreover, the effect of the few hours disruptions reverberated in better part of Western Europe.s