Eyjafjallajökull ash: phased opening of UK airspace from 2100 GMT today 20 April 2010Posted by admin in eruptions, Eyjafjöll, Iceland.
Tags: Eyjafjallajökull, Eyjafjöll, Iceland, volcanic eruptions
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the UK’s independent specialist regulator with oversight of aviation safety, today issues new guidance on the use of airspace. This is issued in conjunction with the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) and covers the Anglo Irish Functional Airspace Block (FAB).
The new guidance allows a phased reintroduction from 2200 tonight [i.e. 21:00 GMT] of much of the airspace which is currently closed due to the volcanic ash plume over the UK. There will continue to be some ‘no fly zones’ where concentrations of ash are at levels unsafe for flights to take place, but very much smaller than the present restrictions. Furthermore, the Met Office advise that the ‘no fly zones’ do not currently cover the UK.
An answer to the vexed question of how much ash is too much ash seems to have been agreed between the CAA, the Irish aviation authorities, the airlines and the aerospace industry:
The major barrier to resuming flight has been understanding tolerance levels of aircraft to ash. Manufacturers have now agreed increased tolerance levels in low ash density areas.
Our way forward is based on international data and evidence from previous volcanic ash incidents, new data collected from test flights and additional analysis from manufacturers over the past few days. It is a conservative model allowing a significant buffer on top of the level the experts feel may pose a risk.
If the authorities have this right, an end to the Great European Aviation Lockdown may be in sight.
For all our Eyjafjallajökull coverage: Eyjafjöll « The Volcanism Blog.