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Passengers stranded for 18 hours as flights cancelled

Flights have been delayed or cancelled due to an air traffic control system failure.
Flights have been delayed or cancelled due to an air traffic control system failure. Warren Lynam

PASSENGERS at Ballina Gate Airport have been told they will have to wait until tomorrow for their flight after overworked staff were sent home.

Passengers were urged to be patient as check-in staff worked through long queues after a radar failure grounded flights for hours.

The air traffic control system failure hit about 5am this morning, on the first day of the NSW school holidays, resulting in the cancellation of some flights and delaying others.

Sydney resident, Mad Woon was booked on a 12 noon Jetstar flight from Ballina to Sydney airport, but said it kept getting pushed back.

"It was initially delayed until 1.20pm," Ms Woon said.

"Right before we were about to board at 4pm, they said that they just realised the pilot had gone over his hours for the day and so they cancelled the flight.

"They told us to come to the counter and they'd arrange accommodation and a new flight."

 

Jetstar passenger Mad Woon waited six hours for her delayed flight before staff cancelled it at the last minute.
Jetstar passenger Mad Woon waited six hours for her delayed flight before staff cancelled it at the last minute. Mad Woon

The flight was booked with 120 passengers, some of whom have been rebooked for another flight tomorrow.



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