Review will consider issues around system failure and NATS’ response
CAA to launch independent review of NATS technical failure
The UK Civil Aviation Authority is set to launch an independent review into the technical issue NATS faced on Monday 28 August, that saw hundreds of flights delayed and cancelled.
NATS’ preliminary technical report detailed the causes of the issue and actions taken to rectify and mitigate the effects.
It found the incident occurred due to an “anomaly” that forced the system to stop processing flight plans.
The system was then closed to maintain safety and required manual operation to continue service.
The regulator will now independently review the wider issues around the system failure and how NATS responded to the incident.
If there is evidence that suggests NATS may have breached its statutory and licensing obligations, the UK Civil Aviation Authority will take any appropriate steps.
The review will also set out lessons to be learned for the future, for consumers’ and the industry’s benefit.
Rob Bishton, joint-interim chief executive of the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said: “Millions of passengers every year rely on air traffic control to work smoothly and safely.
“The initial report by NATS raises several important questions and as the regulator we want to make sure these are answered for passengers and industry.
“If there is evidence to suggest NATS may have breached its statutory and licensing obligations we will consider whether any further action is necessary.”
NATS shared its preliminary technical report on the failure with the UK Civil Aviation Authority on 4 September and the regulator sent it to Mark Harper, secretary of state for transport and aviation minister Baroness Vere, outlining its next steps.
Details of the independent review will be published by the end of September 2023.