Troubles related to an air-traffic malfunction in Japan continued into their second day Sunday, with 10 flights canceled and dozens of others delayed for up to two hours, airline and airport officials said.
At Tokyo’s Haneda airport, about 1,000 travelers who could not make their connecting flights or return home due to the late hour stayed overnight in the airport terminal building. They were provided with blankets by airlines and the terminal building operator.
A computer glitch is being blamed for the cancellations of 203 flights and delays of more than 30 minutes for 1,443 flights on Saturday. The maximum delay was six hours and 50 minutes, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
About 273,000 people were affected, including 39,900 who had to cancel their travel plans due to the cancellations, the ministry said.
The computer malfunction hit the flight data system and its backup system at the ministry’s Tokyo Air Traffic Control Center in Saitama Prefecture, north of Tokyo, at around 7 a.m. Saturday. Flight departures across Japan were put on hold for about 20 minutes.
The last time both systems went down simultaneously was in January 1998.
The systems, which automatically transmit flight information to airports nationwide, partially restarted after about an hour and were fully fixed shortly before 11 a.m. The disruption of flight schedules continued throughout the day, however, at many airports.
The ministry is investigating the cause of the computer glitch. It suspects that a reprogramming of the system, which began at 1 a.m. Saturday, is to blame.
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