Disruption is expected for hundreds of flights at Gatwick and other parts of the UK after a “network-wide failure of UK air traffic control computer systems”.

NATS, the national air traffic controllers, said its system had failed and it was trying to fix the fault.

It means hundreds of flights in and out of Gatwick and several other UK airports could be delayed today while the issue is fixed.

Gatwick Airport said flight cancellations are likely. 

Scottish airline Loganair tweeted this morning about the problem.

A spokesman said: “There has been a network-wide failure of UK air traffic control computer systems this morning.

The Argus: Gatwick Airport is one of the busiest single runway airports in the worldGatwick Airport is one of the busiest single runway airports in the world

“Although we are hopeful of being able to operate most intra-Scotland flights on the basis of local co-ordination and with a minimum of disruption, north-south and international flights maybe subject to delays.

“If you are flying with us today, please check our website for the latest information about your flight before setting off for the airport.”

Travel expert Simon Calder told Sky News that it could mean planes are held on the ground in other countries or diverted if it’s a longer flight.

NATS said in a statement: “We are currently experiencing a technical issue and have applied traffic flow restrictions to maintain safety. Engineers are working to find and the fix the fault.

“We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”

Georgia Ziebart is flying into Gatwick but said the plane remains grounded.

She told Sky News: “We’re on the tarmac in Palma, Majorca. The pilot said it doesn’t look like we will be leaving for a while due to issues with air traffic control across the whole of the UK.”

Emmet Lyons is on an easyJet flight which is currently on the tarmac in Spain.

He shared an update on X, formerly Twitter, of a message from the flight operator.

It said that it has been "advised of an air traffic control issue currently affecting all flights due to fly into or out of United Kingdom airspace". 

The message went on to say that it was working to understand the impact of the issue and timescale for normal operations to continue.

A London Gatwick Airport spokesman said: “We are aware NATS is currently experiencing a technical issue.

"We are seeing delays, and cancellations are likely. We apologise to passengers for any inconvenience and ask them to contact their airlines for further information.”