Air passengers face delays again as the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud returned, causing Scotland and Ireland to restrict flights.
Last month thousands of travellers faced delays as most of Europe’s airspace was closed by the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano. But it’s not over yet…
Irish Air Space Closures
The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) imposed a no-fly zone over the country between 7am and 1pm tomorrow, Tuesday.
The decision comes after the Volcanic Ash Advice Centre (VAAC) said a plume of ash is threatening to drift across the country. It is believed the ash cloud, currently heading towards Donegal in the northwest of Ireland, could move across the country with north-easterly winds. Nearly three weeks after the eruption that led to the closure of Irish airspace, the volcano continues to erupt spewing ash to altitudes between 4 to 5.4 km.
Activity at the volcano has intensified in the past 48-hrs while Northerly winds are pushing the volcanic ash south and east towards Ireland and the UK. IAA’s chief executive Eamon Brennan said the authority has imposed a no-fly zone and a 60-mile buffer zone, effectively closing Shannon and Dublin airports.
The budget airline Ryanair said it had canceled all of its flights scheduled to operate to and from Ireland — including Belfast and Londonderry, both in Northern Ireland — between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. local time. Ryanair also warned of further disruptions, including in Scotland.
Scottish Air Space Closures
The skies over parts of Scotland have also been closed as a precaution after an increased concentration of volcanic ash was detected in the atmosphere, according to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The ash is forecast to exceed the safe level agreed by the CAA and airlines in the Outer Hebrides. Airspace over the Outer Hebrides was closed to all operations at 6pm on Monday following advice from the Met Office.
The closures could see flights to and from the Western Isles cancelled as well, and the situation is to be under constant review. Passengers are advised to check with their airline before travelling.
From 6pm today airspace over the Outer Hebrides will be closed to all operations following Met Office advice that concentrations of ash in the atmosphere are expected to exceed the safe levels agreed by manufacturers. The closures will mean operations from Barra and Benbecula will cease until airspace reopens.