The Guardian - Gwyn Topham

Airport will share 164 cancellations between airlines until Sunday as it seeks to avoid diversions

Thousands of passengers flying to and from Gatwick this week will have their flights cancelled after the airport announced a cap on movements because of a shortage of staff in air traffic control.

Gatwick imposed an immediate cap on Monday of 800 flights taking off or landing a day.

About 30% of those at Gatwick working for Nats, which is contracted to provide air traffic control services at the airport, are understood to be sick or unable to perform full duties.

Stewart Wingate, Gatwick’s chief executive, said he had received repeated assurances from Nats after temporary air traffic control restrictions were put in place at the airport earlier this month, but the situation was not improving.

A Nats spokesperson said: “Given the levels of sickness we have experienced over the last few weeks, we believe it is the responsible thing to do to limit the number of flights this week in order to reduce the risk of daily disruption to passengers using the airport.”

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