Situation “Dynamic” as Ash Cloud Moves across Europe

 - April 16, 2010, 6:58 AM

The cloud of volcanic ash continues to move south through the UK and continental Europe as the eruption in Iceland persists.

Following a review of the latest Met Office information, the UK’s National Air Traffic Services (NATS) continues to advise restrictions of flights in controlled airspace over England and Wales until 7 a.m. (UK time) tomorrow at the earliest. Beginning at 7 p.m. (UK time) today ATC will lift the restriction in a large part of Scottish airspace including Scottish airports, Shetland, Orkneys and Northern Ireland.

North Atlantic traffic can also operate to/from points in that airspace. NATS advises that the arrangements do not mean that all flights will operate and that anyone hoping to travel today or tomorrow should contact the airline before going to the airport.

“We are looking for opportunities when the ash cloud moves sufficient for us to enable some flights to operate under individual coordination with ATC,” said NATS. “Some aircraft were able to operate at Manchester this morning, although restrictions are now reapplied to Manchester.”

The agency said it hopes for some opportunity to fly from the north into Newcastle after 1 a.m. (UK time) tomorrow. It said it would review further Met Office information and at 8:30 (UK time) advise of further arrangements. “In general, the situation is dynamic and subject to change,” it concluded.