Transport Secretary Mark Harper chaired a meeting on Friday regarding last week’s air traffic control failure with NATS, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), airlines, airports, trade bodies and Border Force.

The Secretary of State thanked the sector for their work to get operations back to normal and fly affected passengers to their destinations following the incident.

NATS report

NATS is due to hand its preliminary report into the incident to the CAA on Monday.

Harper noted the failure came during one of the busiest weeks of the year for aviation and that airlines have taken every step possible to increase capacity where possible, including adding extra flights and putting on larger aircraft.

Speaking after the meeting, he said: “Airlines have reported that most customers affected by Monday’s air traffic control failure have reached their destinations and I’m grateful for the steps taken by the industry to help make this happen. The Government continues to support those efforts in any way we can.

“On Monday the Civil Aviation Authority will receive NATS’ initial report into the incident, which the Aviation Minister and I will study with interest. Any next steps will be set out after the initial findings are published later in the week.

“All parties are working hard to understand the incident and make sure passengers don’t face this kind of disruption again, and I will be supporting them in this effort.”

NATS is currently undertaking an investigation into the technical failure. In line with the established regulatory processes, a report will be sent to the CAA on Monday 4 September and shared with the secretary of state shortly afterwards. The findings will be published by the CAA later in the week.
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