Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Grímsvötn Volcano Causes Travel Woes

Grímsvötn eruption
Widespread Flight Cancellations 
Possible as Ash Continues

UPDATE:  25 May -- Bremen & Hamburg (no flights) - Could Impact Berlin & Poland

According to the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre(VAAC) in London, areas of ash concentration are over the north of Germany. Currently no flights are being accepted into Bremen and Hamburg. On a normal day, these airports would expect around 120 and 480 flights respectively.  
The ash cloud is expected to move during the day and could affect Berlin and also parts of Poland. Airports in Germany south of Bremen are not expected to be affected.
There are no restrictions on flights in any other part of Europe. According to the VAAC forecasts, it is expected that ash cloud coverage will dissipate during the day.

Related Blog Post ... Iceland Volcanic Ash Grounds Flights

Reminiscent of a year ago, airlines and air traffic controllers across Europe continue to watch and monitor as a cloud of volcanic ash spreads west from Iceland, threatening to disrupt flights on a wide scale.

The ash cloud was expected to reach London's Heathrow airport -- the world's busiest international air travel hub -- this afternoon, Europe's air traffic control organization Eurocontrol said.

Concentration of ash there is expected to be low and it's not yet clear if Heathrow flights will be canceled.

The ash cloud is forecast to cover all of British airspace by 1 a.m. Wednesday morning.

It will be densest over Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England, the Met Office said. Heathrow is in the south.

United Kingdom  
  • Some flights have been cancelled to and from Leeds Bradford and Humberside Airports today 
  • Some flights have been cancelled to Scotland and Northern Ireland at Leeds Bradford Airport
  • Eastern Airways has cancelled Aberdeen flights to and from Humberside Airport.
  • Disruptions at Newcastle and Durham Tees Valley airports
  • Some flight cancellations at both Newcastle and Durham Tees Valley airports, although the airports themselves remain open
  • Morning flights to Aberdeen from Durham Tees Valley as well as later departures to Southampton were cancelled
  • At Newcastle Airport, flights to and from Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels, Faro and Malta were cancelled.

  • Edinburgh airport is open but passengers are advised to contact their airlines before travelling to the airport. Forecasters say that high density ash is likely from 1pm to 6pm today although disruption may spread into the night. 
  • Glasgow airport is also open and is not expecting any disruption today. 
  • Inverness airport remains closed. 
  • Aberdeen airport is hoping to resume operations from 1pm onwards although there will still be considerable delays and cancellations throughout the day.

  • Flights have been cancelled to and from Svalbard. It is unknown when flights will resume.

  • Danish authorities have closed the airspace below 4 miles in the northwest of the country. 
  • This does not directly affect airports but Copenhagen airport is experiencing some delays and cancellations, primarily to Scotland and Greenland destinations, although these are expected to clear by 8.00pm today. 

Northern Ireland 
  • Flights are halted into and out of Scotland and the north-east of England. 
  • Easyjet flights from Belfast International Airport to Glasgow and Edinburgh have been cancelled. 
  • Two flights between Belfast and Newcastle and Newcastle and Belfast have also been cancelled. 
  • Two Loganair flights between Belfast City Airport and Dundee will also remain grounded.

  • Both Stavanger and Karmoey airports have been affected with flights being cancelled as the cloud is expected to spread to the south of the country later today. 

Contact your airline if you are flying in the impacted areas.  

Met Office forecasts for the end of this week indicate mainly low levels of ash affecting parts of UK and Europe. This forecast does depend on the status of the Volcano since the wind direction and strength will remain variable. You should stay up to date with the latest advice from the Met Office. How this affects flight routing decisions would be determined by CAA and NATS together with the individual airlines.

 Eruption in Iceland: News | Update | Vatnajökull monitoring | Volcanic ash advisory |

Current Volcanic Ash Advisories (VAA) from London and Toulouse 
London VAA: Issued advisories | Issued graphics     Toulouse VAA: Issued advisories

Latest Ash Impact on Flights

Icelandic volcano pictures, blogs, and other links

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