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U.K. NATS Systems Failure

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U.K. NATS Systems Failure

Old 28th Aug 2023, 19:24
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Originally Posted by Midland 331
I'm sure that, despite the details given in the link, the old LATCC IBM9020 is in a lock-up in West London, and could be fired up.....
You don't know how close to the truth that is - VERY close!😁

Last edited by CBSITCB; 28th Aug 2023 at 19:42.
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Old 28th Aug 2023, 19:47
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Working with mission-critical legacy I.T. has taught me "Always give yourself a way back"....
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Old 28th Aug 2023, 19:51
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by RHagrid
More ATSA/ATCA's required obviously!!
An issue that affects a good day's operation. Screws up my lates more often than not.
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Old 28th Aug 2023, 19:52
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Originally Posted by R T Jones
Haha! I used this phrase at work in the last few days to describe how I felt about the U.K. at the momentÖ
Ditto. Nigel voted for it.
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Old 28th Aug 2023, 19:58
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There have been several of these `outages` over the last few years. One would hope that there is an SLA with the people who supply and maintain the system and that any loss can be claimed? (no, I doubt that as well).
I wonder how many of these outages the UK can suffer before carriers, countries start to look at alternative ways of routing through, around UK airspace or even flying here at all?
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Old 28th Aug 2023, 20:07
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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As at 21:00 CET

UK Flights
1,699 Departed today
1,814 Landed today
242 Currently airborne
Handled yesterday 5,572
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Old 28th Aug 2023, 20:44
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Originally Posted by kcockayne
=Ah, the good old 9020. Even that used to go down, at times. I remember (I think it was on a Wednesday) having to revert to ďmanualĒ & write out all the Flt. Progress Strips by hand. Donít think that it caused too many delays, though !
Just ATCOs trying to decipher what was written on them !
Incidentally, my sonís first flight on the A380 today. Chose a good day to start !
The 9020 was nothing really special, just 6 x IBM 360s linked together, however it coped - just.
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Old 28th Aug 2023, 20:48
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Originally Posted by chevvron
The 9020 was nothing really special, just 6 x IBM 360s linked together, however it coped - just.
In my mid-1980s tecchie days we used to joke that IBM stood for "It's being mended". ICL (if anyone remembers them) was "I can't logon".
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Old 28th Aug 2023, 21:08
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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2014 NATS Software disruption

https://www.caa.co.uk/media/r42hircd...port-2-0-1.pdf

14,863 "delay minutes", 353 flights (directly?) affected - will leave others to draw comparisons

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Old 28th Aug 2023, 23:59
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Interesting to compare the effects on the about 90 departures from Palma back to the UK, leaving there after 1100 Local, when things seem to have set in. Compared by airline - of course, all airlines are treated equally by NATS ...

BA ran just 2 out of 8, both LCY flights, rest cancelled.

Easyjet ran 6 out of 18, rest cancelled.

TUI only had a few today, managed 2 out of 3.

Ryanair operated 17 out of 20.

and Jet2 managed 35 out of 37.

Now it's just FR24 data, which is often not spot on. But there is a general trend. And there were a number of significant delays, but at least things got away So why did BA seem to scrub pretty much everything (a trend seemingly repeated out of London to all over Europe ? ). Easyjet likewise. How did Jet2, biggest Palma-UK operation of the day, manage to do almost everything ? How did Ryanair manage similar ?
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Old 29th Aug 2023, 08:16
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Government sources and aviation officials ruled out a cyberattack. Sources suggested the issue could be the result of an incorrectly filed plan by a French airline, although Nats would not comment.
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/uk-air-traffic-flight-delays-latest-news-bank-holiday-travel-2023-0s56fq8z2
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Old 29th Aug 2023, 08:34
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Sources suggested the issue could be the result of an incorrectly filed plan by a French airline,
Ah, the usual UK convenient excuse, but regardless of nationality , this is an interesting comment since in Europe all flights plans are centralized and go through IFPS , checked and redistributed to the ATC centers by Eurocontrol . So if there was an initial filing error by the airline it should have been spotted at IFPS level. but assuming it was not, then every other ATC center receiving the FPL should have been affected, and if not why only the UK system .
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Old 29th Aug 2023, 09:09
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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Itís a pretty vulnerable system if it can be brought down by filing an incorrect FPL.
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Old 29th Aug 2023, 10:24
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CFM (maintenance company) - 'Can't Fix Much'
STC (Storage Technology Corporation) - 'Short-Term Cowboys'
.. and probably many more!
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Old 29th Aug 2023, 10:43
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ATC watcher , was the source the Daily Express as they blame the French for everything .

Having spent 40 plus years in telecoms we seem in that industry to have avoided catastrophes on thsi level but by and large are very focussed on avoiding any possible single source single mode failure that impacts a wide area . It would seem absurd that something on this scale could be triggered by an erroneous flight plan something that must happen a dozen times a day or more across Europe tjust through typos or errors. NATS has a complicated ownership structure but one must suspect the usual cheeseparing penny pinching UK management style has something to do with this having such serious impacts

PB
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Old 29th Aug 2023, 11:28
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Originally Posted by RetiredBA/BY
............Cant remember such a serious system crash in my 25 years of civil flying, not counting French mischief !
Back in the '70's, my Dad, who was then a senior ATCO at West Drayton, had to "ring up France" one day and tell them not to let anything take off, after a UK ATC system failure. So not a new or unique phenomenon, just very very rare.

Anybody who has attended an ATC pilot liaison day in Swanwick, cannot have failed to be impressed by our UK ATC. Working in their ATC simulator, we pilots deliberately selected incorrect headings and wrong altitudes etc, ha ha ha !,.......but all were picked up within moments. Oh....... They are actually very good these guys and gals.

Then, in a later exercise the simulator instructors failed the main ATC computer, leaving the ATC crew back to paper strips and primary radar. The way the UK ATC staff calmly coped was very impressive, and quite humbling to be honest.
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Old 29th Aug 2023, 11:30
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Originally Posted by pax britanica
ATC watcher , was the source the Daily Express as they blame the French for everything .

Having spent 40 plus years in telecoms we seem in that industry to have avoided catastrophes on thsi level but by and large are very focussed on avoiding any possible single source single mode failure that impacts a wide area . It would seem absurd that something on this scale could be triggered by an erroneous flight plan something that must happen a dozen times a day or more across Europe tjust through typos or errors. NATS has a complicated ownership structure but one must suspect the usual cheeseparing penny pinching UK management style has something to do with this having such serious impacts

PB
My thoughts also and I recall this being predicted when NATS was privatised. Ironically some airlines own part of it, so shot in own foot comes to mind.
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Old 29th Aug 2023, 11:51
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Originally Posted by Uplinker
Back in the '70's, my Dad, who was then a senior ATCO at West Drayton, had to "ring up France" one day and tell them not to let anything take off, after a UK ATC system failure. So not a new or unique phenomenon, just very very rare.

Anybody who has attended an ATC pilot liaison day in Swanwick, cannot have failed to be impressed by our UK ATC. Working in their ATC simulator, we pilots deliberately selected incorrect headings and wrong altitudes etc, ha ha ha !,.......but all were picked up within moments. Oh....... They are actually very good these guys and gals.

Then, in a later exercise the simulator instructors failed the main ATC computer, leaving the ATC crew back to paper strips and primary radar. The way the UK ATC staff calmly coped was very impressive, and quite humbling to be honest.
Love it!! Back in the 90's, my Dad, who was then an approach radar ATCO at West Drayton told me when he occasionally used to practice doing SRA's with pilots, he was certain that some crews had the ILS dialled up and followed that rather than ATC instructions!
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Old 29th Aug 2023, 11:54
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Originally Posted by Link Kilo
Government sources and aviation officials ruled out a cyberattack. Sources suggested the issue could be the result of an incorrectly filed plan by a French airline, although Nats would not comment. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/uk-air-traffic-flight-delays-latest-news-bank-holiday-travel-2023-0s56fq8z2
"Incorrect flight plan" Either I'm getting de ja vu, or we've heard that excuse before?
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Old 29th Aug 2023, 12:06
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Don't believe the incorrect flight plan malarky...seems an incredulous reason for a whole system failure. And if it was cyber, would they actually admit it?

Truth is probably much more mundane though...in my old company, the entire IT infrastructure was collapsed for a number of days after an employee tripped in the server room and landed against an emergency stop button (you could not have written it, but it was captured on CCTV). The resulting shutdown was 'dirty' and caused absolute chaos...
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