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Technical issue at Hampshire air traffic control centre disrupts flights across the country
PASSENGERS could face delays to flights throughout the afternoon at Southampton Airport as engineers try to resolve a technical issue at a Hampshire air traffic control centre.
The National Air Traffic Control Service (NATS) has confirmed it may take up until 7pm tonight to resolve the issues at the air traffic control centre in Swanwick.
It says engineers are working to rectify the problem as soon as possible.
The issue is affecting flights arriving at Southampton Airport, but arrivals currently appear to be on schedule according to the airport's flight information service.
Passengers using the airport are still advised to check their airline before travelling.
This afternoon, a NATS spokesman said: "The problem is related to the internal telephone system used by our air traffic controllers and is expected to take about six hours to resolve.
"At night, when it’s quiet, we can combine sectors of airspace. When it gets busy in the daytime we split the sectors out again. The voice communications system is configured to enable this to happen.
"We experienced a technical problem in the early hours of this morning, which means that it hasn’t been possible to reconfigure the voice communications system to split out the sectors for the busier daytime traffic in some areas of the UK enroute airspace.
"Engineers are working to rectify the problem as soon as possible, but this is resulting in some delays. Safety has not been compromised at any time, and we sincerely apologise for any inconvenience being caused to passengers.
"Safety has not been compromised at any time."
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