Gatwick lightning hit causes delays

Gatwick lightning hit causes delays

Gatwick Airport control tower was struck by lightning yesterday causing a short-term system failure.

Although back up systems kicked in, thunder and lightning resulted in delays of about an hour affecting some flights during the afternoon. Departing flights were suspended for half an hour after the 2pm lightning hit which led to the failure of some ground-based systems. There was no structural damage to the tower.

A National Air Traffic Services spokesman said: “At no stage did the controllers lose voice communications with the pilots or lose radar. Back up systems were immediately put in place.”

Travel to and from Gatwick was also affected as violent storms swept across the south east of England. Many trains operated by Southern were cancelled or delayed by more than an hour after lightning hit between Horley and Three Bridges in West Sussex.

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