UK Birmingham Airport resumes flights after ′technical fault′ | News | DW | 23.12.2018
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UK Birmingham Airport resumes flights after 'technical fault'

Authorities temporarily suspended services at Birmingham Airport due to an "air traffic control fault." Previously, London's Gatwick airport was forced to ground hundreds of flights over an alleged drone disturbance.

UK Birmingham Airport (Getty Images/C. Furlong)

Birmingham Airport welcomed nearly 13 million passengers in 2017

Flights were resumed at the international airport in Birmingham, the UK's second largest city, on Sunday evening, following a disturbance prompted by a "technical fault" in the airport's air traffic control system.

"Birmingham Airport has now resolved the issue," airport authorities said, without providing details on the cause.

"We thank passengers for their patience and apologize for any inconvenience this has caused."

The latest disturbance comes just ahead of the holiday season, as passengers around the UK and Western Europe rush to complete their travel arrangements ahead of the Christmas Eve on Monday.

Earlier this week, officials were forced to close down London's Gatwick Airport due to reported drone activity. London police detained a man and a woman over the incident, but the two were released without charge on Sunday.

Police found damaged drone near Gatwick

Also on Sunday, the UK detectives investigating the Gatwick drone scare hinted at a "possibility" that the drones never existed.

The drones were reported by multiple witnesses, including police officers, airport employees, and the general public, according to Detective Chief Jason Tingley. However, no footage of the aircraft immediately appeared, giving rise to speculation that the sightings were false.

"Of course, that's a possibility," Tingley told reporters when asked to comment on the theory.   "We are working with human beings saying they have seen something."

At the same time, Tingley said that the police was examining a damaged drone which had been found close to the airport perimeter. The drone's location is close to the last reported sighting, he added.

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