London Gatwick has temporarily limited flight numbers to provide certainty to passengers following recent air traffic control issues.

The decision was made alongside NATS, which runs the London Gatwick air traffic control tower, and means the airport will be limited to 800 flights a day. This means both departure and arrival flights. The restrictions will remain in place until Sunday October 1.  

The daily cap will prevent last-minute cancellations and delays for passengers while NATS work through challenges driven by sickness and staffing constraints.  

Passengers have been advised to check the status of their flights directly with their airlines.

Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate said: “This has been a difficult decision but the action we have taken means our airlines can fly reliable flight programmes, which gives passengers more certainty that they will not face last minute cancellations. 

“We are working closely with NATS to build resilience in the control tower, and this decision means we can prevent as much disruptions as possible.  

London Gatwick would like to apologise to any passengers who have been impacted by these restrictions.” 

Before the limit was put in place the movements expected for this week were as follows:  

  • Tuesday – 800 movements  
  • Wednesday – 829 movements 
  • Thursday – 840 movements 
  • Friday – 865 movements 
  • Saturday – 800 movements  
  • Sunday – 830 movements 

Almost a third (30%) of NATS tower staff are currently unavailable for a variety of medical reasons, including COVID-19, Gatwick confirmed.  

Image: London Gatwick Airport