LONDON — After a damaged Vodafone fibre optic cable caused flight information screens to break down at London Gatwick this morning, the airport was forced to use whiteboards to update travellers on their departure gates and times.
ALERT Due to an ongoing issue with Vodafone, whiteboards are used to display flight infirmations at London Gatwick Airpor https://t.co/uKK3jOyPaC
— AIRLIVE (@airlivenet) August 20, 2018
The Flight Information Display System (FIDS) at Gatwick Airport was recently installed as part of a 2015 project to replace its PC-based systems. The new system, which was implemented in December 2017, features 1,200 cloud-based screens and was designed to be cost effective, flexible and resilient.
Ironically, London Gatwick was the recipient of the Cloud Project of the Year award at the Real IT awards in May 2017.
Passengers were left staring at blank screens this morning when the system went down. Airport staff quickly wheeled out whiteboards on which they wrote down flight statuses with felt-tip pens.
In a statement to The Register, Vodafone said: “We have identified a damaged fibre cable which is used by Gatwick Airport to display flight information. Our engineers are working hard to fix the cable as quickly as possible. This is a top priority for us and we are very sorry for any problems caused by this issue. We are keeping Gatwick Airport constantly informed of progress.”
London Gatwick Airport is the U.K.’s second largest airport, with 45.6 million passengers passing through in 2017. Like most airports, August is its busiest month.