When Data Integration Goes Bad: UK Air Traffic Chaos Monday Attributed To Ingested Data

August 30, 2023 by Dave Haynes

Integrating data sources from different management and operations systems is incredibly powerful and important in running relevant, timely messaging on digital signage networks, but ingesting data also has its perils – as experienced this week in the UK air transport system.

Flights were delayed or cancelled at airports across the UK on Monday – stranding 1,000s of travelers – and the country’s air traffic control service says the cause was a flight plan data that the systems couldn’t properly process.

As reported by the BBC, National Air Traffic Services chief executive Martin Rolfe: “Initial investigations into the problem show it relates to some of the flight data we received.

“Our systems, both primary and the back-ups, responded by suspending automatic processing to ensure that no incorrect safety-related information could be presented to an air traffic controller or impact the rest of the air traffic system.”

He later described the issue as “incredibly rare,” saying he was confident the situation would not arise again.

“We understand the way the system didn’t handle the data… the way it failed, if you like.”

“So we have put in place, already, procedures to make sure if that happens again, we can resolve it very, very quickly.”

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