Eurocontrol system failure delays thousands of flights across Europe

5 April 2018 (Last Updated April 5th, 2018 12:47)

A system failure in the Enhanced Tactical Flow Management System (ETFMS), which occurred at the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol), has delayed hundreds of flights across Europe.

A system failure in the Enhanced Tactical Flow Management System (ETFMS), which occurred at the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol), has delayed hundreds of flights across Europe.

The technical glitch occurred at around 13:00 UTC on 3 April.

The ETFMS is now operational following extensive internal testing and coordination with airports, airlines and air traffic control across Europe and beyond.

“The trigger event for the outage has been identified and measures have been put in place to ensure no reoccurrence.”

Eurocontrol, which provides air traffic management across Europe, said that the system failure could force airlines to reschedule or delay approximately 15,000 flights.

In a statement, Eurocontrol said: “The trigger event for the outage has been identified and measures have been put in place to ensure no reoccurrence.

“The trigger event was an incorrect link between the testing of a new software release and the live operations system; this led to the deletion of all current flight plans on the live system. We are confident that there was no outside interference.

“As a result of the nature of the outage, we are not yet in a position to provide figures on the numbers of flights that were affected.”

Following the system failure, Eurocontrol is now carrying out a full investigation, implementing the contingency procedure and the recovery phase to identify all necessary improvements.

As a result of the outage, thousands of flight plans have been lost, which airlines now need to resend, according to Eurocontrol.

Eurocontrol said that the latest fault was only the second failure in 17 years; the last failure took place in 2001.