An air traffic control problem has forced London’s Gatwick Airport to suspend all flights.
The issue in the airport’s control tower triggered the suspension shortly after 5pm on Wednesday, a Gatwick spokesman said.
He said inbound flights were being diverted to other airports and Gatwick was “starting to see cancellations” of outbound flights.
An update from the airport on Twitter at 6.10pm stated: “Due to an air traffic control systems issue in Gatwick’s control tower, flights remain suspended.
“We are working with ANS, our provider, to rectify this issue as quickly as possible.
“We apologise and advise passengers to check flight info with your airline.”
The airport spokesman said: “We’re currently working hard to get that back up and running.”
He added: “Our advice to passengers is to check with their airline before travelling to the airport.”
A small number of flights were allowed to land at Gatwick after the suspension began.
The spokesman was unable to provide a figure of how many flights had been affected, but 11 arrivals were listed as diverted on the airport’s website between the start of the suspension and 7pm on Wednesday.
In a message to travellers on its website, the airline easyJet said: “Unfortunately, London Gatwick is still closed, with no advised time of when it will re-open.
“As a result, we expect to suffer some delays and possible cancellations.
“The disruption to your flight is beyond our control and is considered an extraordinary circumstance.
“Whilst outside of our control, we apologise for the inconvenience this may cause to your journey.”