The National Air Traffic Services (NATS) confirmed to the BBC that “short notice staff absence and strong winds” had resulted in the restrictions.
The statement said: “We expect the situation to improve this afternoon.”
Flight itineraries may have “minor changes,” according to a Heathrow representative.
The airport declined to specify how many flights will be affected, but advised customers to check with their carriers.
British Airways said that “some adjustments to our short-haul schedule” have been made.
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Gatwick flights were canceled due to air traffic control absenteeism.
Every day, approximately 175 short-haul BA flights land at Heathrow.
Travelers took to X, formerly Twitter, to express their displeasure, with others worried about missing connecting flights to other destinations. Some are said to be experiencing hours of delays.
NATS has been chastised in recent months for causing delays at UK airports. Thousands of flights were cancelled or delayed in late August due to a technical malfunction in the UK’s air traffic control systems.
Just over a fortnight later, flights at Gatwick were abruptly cancelled, delayed, or diverted due to a shortage of air traffic controllers.
NATS reported “short notice staff absence in the tower” as well as severe winds on Sunday.
“We are working hard to minimize disruption, working closely with Heathrow airport and airlines,” a spokesperson said. Passengers should contact their airline to confirm the status of their flight.
“Restrictions of this sort are only ever applied to ensure safety and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
The airline stated it had “contacted affected customers to apologise and offer them rebooking options or a full refund” .