After careful evaluation, the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), working closely with aircraft manufacturers and other agencies, has recommended a gradual reopening of UK airspace.
So after six days of ash, Why is it Now Safe to Fly? This BBC News article, Flights resume as ash fear recedes, says it better than I could. This was uncharted territory, as the previous time this volcano exploded was before the dawn of aviation as we know it today.
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 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. Read MoreThe airlines and airports are working closely together with CAA to resume flights while maintaining passenger safety. Despite the reopening of the airspace, passengers are encouraged to contact their airline prior to going to the airport.
British Airways issued the following statement:
UK airspace reopening
We are very pleased that the aviation authorities have opened UK airspace to enable us to begin the task of bringing our stranded customers home, as well as working towards normal operations.
As we have many aircraft and crew out of position, it will still take some considerable time before we can restore our full flying programme. We are working hard to see how many flights we can operate in the days ahead to help our customers.
At this stage we are looking to operate all longhaul flights departing from Heathrow and Gatwick on Wednesday April 21.
Please check your flight status before departing for the airport.
There will be shorthaul cancellations to and from London airports until 1300 (UK time) on Wednesday 21 April, and possibly beyond that time. We hope to have further updates soon.
BAA Airports BAA owns and operates a number of airports in the UK.
Please consult the following websites for the latest updates:
MetOffice EUROCONTROL NATS CAA Track Flights Live Over Europe