UK airport chaos after ‘cyber attack’ hits flight info screens and website

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Photo credit: Shutterstock and (inset) Twitter / @julieanne_mc

THE UK’S ninth busiest airport, by passenger numbers, is slowly recovering after a cyber attack left the flight information screens in its terminals blank and the information unavailable on its website too.

Airport staff at Bristol were forced to use whiteboards and public address announcements in the terminal as computer systems were taken offline to thwart the attack.

And today (Monday) flight arrival and departure information still was not available on their website.

NO FLIGHTS: The Bristol Airport website today
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The airport has said, “Live flight information has now been restored to digital screens in key locations throughout the terminal at Bristol Airport. Additional staff will remain in place to assist passengers while work continues to restore site-wide coverage.”

But, on social media, Clive Johnson reminded them, “Please remember the deaf… they may not hear announcements.”

Handling over 8.2 million passengers a year and with airlines including easyJet, Ryanair, Thomas Cook, British Airways, Aer Lingus and TUI Airways having bases there.

A spokesperson said several systems were taken offline on Friday (September 14) in a bid to contain the attack, including the application which provides details about flights.

James Gore said, “Established contingency plans were implemented to keep passengers informed about flight information.

“Flight operations remained unaffected.

“Bristol Airport always remains vigilant against all types of hostile online activity.

“As with every event of any type we will monitor and keep under review how to avoid it re-occurring.

“However, it is important to recognise that security measures already in place ensured minimum disruption to passenger journeys.”

A message from the airport’s CEO, Dave Lees said, “We are grateful to passengers for the patience they have shown. We would also like to thank colleagues, airlines and business partners whose hard work has enabled flights to operate to schedule during this difficult time.”

The sole owner of the airport is the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

The airport has one of the shortest international airport runways in the UK at just 2,011m (6,598ft) in length.

 

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