UK back on no-fly alert as 5-day volcano cloud forecast released

by ClickGreen staff. Published Sat 15 May 2010 19:32, Last updated: 2010-05-16
Iceland volcano poses new UK threat Elin Bjork Jonasdottir
Iceland volcano poses new UK threat  Elin Bjork Jonasdottir

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The newly released Met Office five-day volcano ash cloud forecast shows a blanket of dense dust is expected to drift over most of the UK early next week, including London's airports.

The predicted cloud is said to contain concentrations of ash that “exceed acceptable [aircraft] engine manufacturer tolerance levels” and could trigger airport and airspace closures.

The Icelandic Met Office has reported an overnight “earthquake swarm” beneath volcano Eyjafjallajökull, which resulted in a thick grey plume rising to between 21,000 and 24,000ft, heading south towards the UK.

In a statement on Saturday, the Met Office warned: “Winds are expected to blow mainly from the northwest for a time over the weekend with the risk of ash affecting some parts of the UK.

“However, winds are predicted to swing into a south westerly direction by the middle of next week, which would take most of any ash away from the British Isles.”

A statement released on Saturday at 23.45 by National Air Traffic Services (NATS), stated: “A high density volcanic ash cloud is rapidly encroaching on Northern Ireland.

“As a result, a no-fly zone has been imposed by the CAA in airspace over parts of Northern Ireland, however Belfast International and Dublin airports will remain open, from 0100 (local) to 0700 on Sunday 16 May.”

Earlier, a statement released by Manchester Airport, said: “Today (Saturday 15 May), the Government has asked the Met Office to publish five-day forecast maps showing the possible location of the volcanic ash cloud.

"Until today, the forecasts available to the public only looked ahead as far as 12 hours because it is very difficult to predict what will happen to the wind direction beyond this.

“Although the new forecast maps show that ash contamination may occur again in UK airspace over the next three to four days, it is by no means a certainty and Manchester Airport remains fully operational.

“Restrictions to airspace are applied by NATS (National Air Traffic Services) and at the moment there is no reason to expect any flights from Manchester Airport to be affected.

“If passengers who are planning to travel to or from Manchester Airport over the coming days are concerned about their flight, please check with your airline or check the airport website for official updates.

“There is absolutely no official suggestion or predication that prolonged, continent-wide airspace restrictions will occur again.”

On Friday, the UK's Civil Aviation Authority issued a guidance list for air travellers affected by the ash cloud, which can be found at www.clickgreen.org.uk or at http://bit.ly/cwbcnv.

Sunday 11am update:

Major UK airports including Manchester, East Midlands and Liverpool will be shut from 1pm on Sunday, May 16, as a high-density volcanic ash cloud sweeps down from Iceland.

A statement from the National Air Traffic Services (NATS) confirmed a UK no-fly zone would be introduced from 13.00 to 19.00 (local time) today but London airports would remain open.

The airports affected include all those in Northern Ireland, Scotland, the north of England and the midlands.

The 10.30 NATS update states: “The CAA’s no-fly zone required by the high density volcanic ash cloud will not affect London airports for the period 1300-1900 (local time) today.

“The no-fly zone for this period has moved east to a line stretching from Prestwick on the west coast to Humberside on the east coast and south to a line just north of Birmingham. Airports which fall within the no-fly zone include all those in Northern Ireland, Ronaldsway, Prestwick, Carlisle, Manchester, Liverpool, Doncaster, Humberside, Leeds Bradford and East Midlands and some Scottish island airports including Campbeltown, Islay and Barra.

“There are currently no other restrictions within UK airspace. According to information from the Irish Aviation Authority, Dublin will remain open until at least 0100 tomorrow (Monday) and Shannon until 2300 tonight.”

A spokesman for Manchester Airport, said Sunday: “The Met Office and National Air Traffic Services (NATS) have today placed restrictions on parts of UK airspace as a result of a high concentration of volcanic ash drifting across the country from Iceland.

"These severe restrictions will cause disruption to all flights to and from Manchester Airport between 13:00 and 19:00 today (Sunday 16th May). All passengers are advised to check with their Airline or Tour Operator before travelling to the airport this afternoon.

"Long range forecasts indicate that the ash cloud may cause further disruption into tomorrow but this is not certain. If passengers who are planning to travel to or from Manchester Airport over the coming days are concerned about their flight, please check with your airline or tour operator or monitor our website for official updates.

"There is absolutely no official suggestion or prediction that the prolonged, continent-wide airspace restrictions experienced in April are about to occur again.

"We would like to sincerely apologise to passengers travelling today for the inconvenience that this will cause."

Sunday 4.30pm update:

The latest high-density volcanic ash cloud is nearing London after Met Office forecasts predicted its would reach the skies over Oxford this evening as the UK's no-fly zone was extended until 01:00 on Monday morning.

The further spread of the ash cloud has now forced Birmingham and Norwich Airports to shutdown as the no-fly zones imposed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the National Air Traffic Services (NATS) are extended.

A NATS statement on Sunday afternoon, confirmed: “For the period 19:00 today (local time) until 01:00 tomorrow (Monday) London’s main airports will still be clear of the no-fly zone imposed by the CAA due to the high density volcanic ash cloud.

“The ash cloud continues to change shape and move further south to just north of Oxford during this period. This brings Birmingham and Norwich inside the no-fly zone in addition to those airports already affected. The northerly extent of the no-fly zone in England now includes Teesside, stopping just short of Newcastle, and tracking northwest in a line just north of Carlisle, which remains in the no-fly zone.

“Airports inside the no-fly zone in England and Wales now include Teesside, Humberside, Leeds Bradford, Blackpool, Ronaldsway, Caernarfon, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Doncaster, Norwich, Birmingham and East Midlands.

“In Scotland the no-fly zone includes the Western Isles, Campbeltown, Prestwick and Oban. All airports in Northern Ireland remain inside the no-fly zone during this period.

“There are currently no other restrictions within UK airspace.”

Sunday 11pm update:

The UK's National Air Traffic Services (NATS) has tonight confirmed London's two main airports, Heathrow and Gatwick, will be closed until at least 7am Monday morning as airports in Northern Britain are allowed to reopen.

In addition, London City Airport will also be affected although London Stansted has confirmed it is to remain open.

A NATS statement issued at 22:45 on Sunday, confirmed: “For the period 0100 (local time) until 0700 tomorrow (Monday), airports inside the no-fly zone as imposed by the CAA, include; London Heathrow, Gatwick, Farnborough, London City, Shoreham, Biggin Hill, all airfields in Northern Ireland, Scottish Western Isles, Oban, Campbeltown, Caernarfon and Aberdeen. Cardiff remains open but operations may be limited due to close proximity of the no-fly zone.”

A spokesman for Manchester Airport, said tonight: “The CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) has confirmed that airspace across Northern Britain will reopen at 01:00 tomorrow (Monday 17 May).

“The lifting of today’s airspace restrictions applies until 07:00 by which time the forecasts for the day ahead will allow the authorities to provide a further update for passengers.

“Manchester Airport will therefore reopen from 01:00 on Monday 17 May 2010 and remain operational unless there is a further deterioration in conditions.

“It is absolutely essential that people contact their airline before travelling to the airport for any flight because there are still high levels of ash contamination above parts of Britain which may bring further disruption.

“There is absolutely no official suggestion or predication that the prolonged, continent-wide airspace restrictions experienced in April are about to occur again.

“We would once again like to thank passengers for their continued patience and understanding since this situation began yesterday.”


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Comments about UK back on no-fly alert as 5-day volcano cloud forecast released

remember there are thousands of personnel awaiting to return to families from the offshore installations better safe than not.no complaints
cosmick, offshore norfolk around 3 years, 7 months ago
Hi Katie, Weds currently look clear - too early to say about next Sun = check out our www.ashalert.co.uk service
ClickGreen, Newdesk around 4 years, 7 months ago
supposed to go to Kirkwall wed 26th then back to edinburgh next sun 30th?are both possible
katie james, edinburgh,scotland around 4 years, 7 months ago
Hi Jim, looking clear at the moment but check out our service at www.ashalert.co.uk
ClickGreen, Newsdesk around 4 years, 7 months ago
Flying Majorca Wednesday 26th. Whats the chjances of ash?
jim, Northampton around 4 years, 7 months ago
Ritzi, forecasts look clear until around Tuesday next week. Enjoy your holiday - check out our ashalert.co.uk service for while you're away
ClickGreen, Newsdesk around 4 years, 7 months ago
Meant to be flying out from Knock on Sat to London Gatwick - How willl I know if flights are cancelled?
Ritzi, Sligo, Ireland around 4 years, 7 months ago
High-density ash cloud forecast off west coast of Scotland on 24th. Check out our ashalert.co.uk
ClickGreen, Newsdesk around 4 years, 7 months ago
flying to caribbean on wed 26th, from manchester, what are the chances
Jill, North England around 4 years, 7 months ago
Flying to Dalaman on Friday. what are the chances of cancellation?
Nicki Roberts, Manchester around 4 years, 7 months ago
The five-day forecast shows no sign of high-density ash cloud anywhere near UK for the rest of the week. Happy travels.
ClickGreen, Newsdesk around 4 years, 7 months ago
what's the chances of my family going on the Ocean village from crete on Thursday thanks
Jenny Martin, Billericay around 4 years, 7 months ago
we are in Munich hoping to travel home to the UK on Friday 21st? what is the outlook?
Joanne, Munich around 4 years, 7 months ago
what do you think about flying on Tuesday fromm Shannon and back fom gatwick on saturday? Too risky?
penelope, west of ireland around 4 years, 7 months ago
what are the chances of getting to spain on wednesday
Dan Connelly, chichester around 4 years, 7 months ago
Hi Jo, hard to say but Met Office and airports are confident this episode is to be short-lived.
ClickGreen, Newsdesk around 4 years, 7 months ago
wat is the outlook for wedensday
jo handoff, armagh around 4 years, 7 months ago
good evening please keep me up to date about the new ash cloud. in iceland thankyou
maddni abbas, halifax around 4 years, 7 months ago


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