Icelandic ash cloud closes UK airports (updated) 15 April 2010Posted by admin in activity reports, eruptions, Eyjafjöll, Iceland.
Tags: Eyjafjallajökull, Eyjafjöll, Iceland, volcanic eruptions
The ash cloud from the Eyjafjallajökull-Fimmvörduháls eruption in southern Iceland has reached the British Isles and is having a severe impact upon air travel to and from UK and Irish airports. According to London VAAC the plume is reaching altitudes of 6-11 km and stretches across much of northern Britain. Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow airports in Scotland are all currently closed, and in England and Wales traffic at Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, East Midlands, Leeds Bradford, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and London’s Gatwick, Heathrow and Standsted airports being disrupted. Flights from Dublin and from Belfast’s airports have also been suspended. The flight disruption is affecting all North Atlantic flights, with the United States FAA reporting ‘most Trans-Atlantic flights’ affected this morning; and of course Iceland’s own air traffic is severely disrupted as well. Even the current British general election campaign is being affected by the flight disruption (cue lame references to seismic events and political faultlines).
Click here for Meteosat imagery of the ash cloud. The UK Met Office model of the ash cloud’s spread between 1800Z on 14 April and 1200Z on 15 April can be found here. The 1200Z image is shown below; the different colour lines indicate the approximate area of the cloud at various heights: red = between surface and FL200 (6,000 metres), green = between FL200 and FL350 (between 6,000 and 10,600 metres), blue = between FL 350 and FL 550 (between 10,600 and 16,700 metres).
UPDATE: The effects of the ash are spreading across northern Europe. Denmark is closing its airspace from 1600 GMT today, and there is air traffic disruption in Norway, Sweden and Finland. UK air traffic control organization NATS has closed United Kingdom airspace from 1200 until at least 1800 BST today. Text of NATS statement:
Statement on Icelandic volcanic eruption: Thurs April 15, 09:30
From midday today until at least 6pm, there will be no flights permitted in UK controlled airspace other than emergency situations. This has been applied in accordance with international civil aviation policy. We continue to monitor the situation with the Met Office and work closely with airline customers and adjoining countries. We will review the situation later today to understand what further action will be required.
(‘A huge ash mushroom across major British flight paths threatens to turn the journies [sic] of thousands of families returning from their Easter holidays into a nightmare’ reports The Times, displaying the kind of journalistic quality for which they’ll be expecting online readers to pay soon. Huge ash mushroom indeed.)
For all our Eyjafjallajökull coverage: Eyjafjöll « The Volcanism Blog.
Flights limited due to new Icelandic eruption – Iceland Review Online, 14 April 2010
Volcano ash from Iceland hits UK flights – BBC News, 15 April 2010
Dust from volcano closes Scottish airports – BBC News, 15 April 2010
Volcanic ash ‘a very serious risk’ to aircraft – BBC News, 15 April 2010
Volcanic ash creates flights chaos across Britain – The Times, 15 April 2010
Airports closed as volcanic ash drifts towards UK – The Guardian, 15 April 2010
Volcano ash shuts many airports in U.K. – CNN, 15 April 2010
FAA says most North Trans-Atlantic flights affected by volcano danger – Wall Street Journal, 15 April 2010
Global Volcanism Program: Eyjafjöll – summary information for Eyjafjallajökull, which the GVP calls Eyjafjöll (1702-02=)