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Computer glitch shuts down all London air traffic

Computer glitch shuts down all London air traffic
photo courtesy of SHUTTERSTOCK

It usually takes a major storm to shut down a whole region of airports, but in England they just found another way. On Friday, a "technical problem" at the National Air Traffic Service center in Swanwick shut down most of England's airports for nearly an hour.

Heathrow, Gatwick, London City Airport and many more were closed, leaving incoming planes circling and outgoing planes sitting on the tarmac. Even after the problem was fixed, UK airspace was restricted and caused delays into the weekend. So, could that happen in the U.S.?

NATS isn't saying what the problem was, but experts think it must have been the main Flight Data Processor system, which doesn't have a backup. The U.S. version, however, US ERAM, has four backups to prevent this very thing from happening.

Still, delays do happen for many reasons. Before you head to the airport, check on your flight's status with an app like FlightTrack.

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