Flights to and from Gatwick may be affected later today after an IT problem cripples air traffic.

Planes are grounded in the United States after a computer failure at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) means that safety-critical information is unavailable to pilots.

Flights to New York and Tampa are expected to depart from Gatwick later today, however landings at their destination may mean these flights will be delayed.

As of 7 a.m. ET (noon GMT), there were more than 1,200 delayed flights within, into or out of the United States, according to flight-tracking website FlightAware.

An American Airlines spokesman said: “The FAA failure affects all carriers. We are monitoring the situation and appreciate your patience.”

In a tweet posted by the FAA, the aviation authority of the United States of America, a spokesperson said: “The FAA is still working to fully restore the Notice to Air Missions system following the failure.”

There is the potential for widespread disruption due to the outage as all aircraft must pass through the system, including commercial and military flights.

The Notice to Air Missions, or NOTAM, system provides pilots with safety information along their route, from construction details at airports to urgent flight restrictions or broken equipment.

Gatwick Airport has reached out for comment.

More when we get it

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