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24May/110

Airlines suspend services through Scottish Airspace due to Ash cloud

A number of airlines are choosing not to fly through Scottish airspace on Tuesday:

  • British Airways is not operating any flights between London and Scotland until 1400 BST
  • KLM cancelled flights to and from Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Newcastle as well as flights from Durham Tees Valley Airport
  • EasyJet cancelled flights to and from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Aberdeen between 0500 and 1300 BST
  • Ryanair said it has been advised by the Irish Aviation Authority not to operate flights from Glasgow Prestwick, Edinburgh or Aberdeen until at least 1300 BST but believed that "there is no basis for these flight cancellations"
  • Flybe cancelled flights to and from Aberdeen and Inverness
  • BMI said flights to and from Aberdeen were subject to delay and passengers should check its website, but services in and out of Glasgow and Edinburgh were running normally
  • Glasgow-based Loganair has cancelled 36 flights. Only inter-island routes in Orkney are unaffected
  • Eastern Airways will not be operating any services in or out of Scottish airspace

Latest path of ash cloud

Since last year, the CAA has graded ash levels as low, medium or high, and airlines are notified if levels reach medium or high.

All British aircraft can fly in medium-density ash but the airlines need to consider whether to fly, according to risk assessments.

A CAA spokesman said the current cloud could "potentially" cause serious disruption as charts showed the ash density below 35,000ft had reached the highest level at more than 4,000 microgrammes per cubic metre.

But he said procedures were "totally different" compared with last year and although no airlines had applied to fly in high-denisty ash, some had apllied for, and been given, permission to fly in medium ash.

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23May/110

Latest satellite image of Grímsvötn Ash Cloud

Satellite Image of latest Ash Cloud

Grímsvötn

Meteosat Second Generation (MSG)

latest ash cloud satellite image

Image of Ash Cloud taken 06:00am on 24th May 2011

Latest satellite image of ask cloud

Image taken on 23rd of May

MSG images are monitoring for the presence of volcanic ash emission in the vicinity of Iceland using infrared data from the Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) satellite. Because cloud particles and volcanic ash particles interact with the infrared radiation in different ways, data at several different wavelengths can be combined to identify the main ash plume, which, when present, would be shown as yellow and orange colours in the images. However, it should be noted that it is only the thicker parts of the plume that are able to be detected by this method. In addition, the ash plume is often masked by overlying high cloud and therefore might not appear in the satellite image.

23May/110

New Ash Cloud Heads for Britain

Flights in Scotland have been cancelled by a regional airline as volcanic ash continues to head towards the UK.

Iceland Ask Cloud Image

Loganair, based at Glasgow airport, has cancelled 36 flights on Tuesday as the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) warns that disruption cannot be ruled out.

Analysts expect the ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano to reach Scotland and Northern Ireland by Monday evening.

The event comes a year after ash from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano spread across Europe, causing huge disruption.

'Better prepared'

Andrew Haines, chief executive of the CAA, said: "Our number one priority is to ensure the safety of people both onboard aircraft and on the ground.

"We can't rule out disruption, but the new arrangements that have been put in place since last year's ash cloud mean the aviation sector is better prepared and will help to reduce any disruption in the event that volcanic ash affects UK airspace."

A Loganair spokesman said Met Office forecasts indicated that a high density of ash would be present in large parts of Scottish airspace throughout Tuesday, clearing into Wednesday morning.

It has cancelled almost all flights on Tuesday and advised customers due to travel to contact them to rearrange flights. Only inter-island routes in Orkney are unaffected.

The UK's air traffic control service, Nats, said volcanic ash was forecast to affect parts of Scotland between 1800 BST and midnight on Monday.

Services may be affected from Barra, Benbecula and Tiree.

The Met Office, which runs Europe's Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre, earlier said there was a possibility of ash moving across the UK towards the end of the week.

But a spokesman said the weather was much more changeable than at the time of last year's eruption and there was a lot more uncertainty.

The CAA said ash levels would be graded as low, medium or high, and airlines would be notified if levels reached medium or high.

Airlines would then consider whether to fly, according to risk assessments already carried out, the CAA added.

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4Jun/100

Easyjet trial new technology to detect Ash Clouds

NEW technology that could minimise future disruption to planes from volcanic ash was unveiled today by budget airline easyJet. The carrier will be the first airline to trial a new "weather radar for ash" system called AVOID (Airborne Volcanic Object Identifier and Detector).

The system involves placing infrared technology on to an aircraft to supply images to both the pilots and an airline's flight control centre.

These images will enable pilots to see an ash cloud up to 62 miles (100 kilometres) ahead of the aircraft and at altitudes between 5,000ft and 50,000ft.

This will allow pilots to make adjustments to the plane's flight path to avoid any ash cloud.

Millions of passengers had their travel plans wrecked when airlines had to scrap thousands of flights in recent weeks due to Icelandic volcanic ash.

ash_radar

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16May/100

New Iceland Volcanic Ash Cloud Flight Restrictions – See Satellite image of dust coverate

Many UK airports are closed until at least 0100 BST on Monday because of volcanic ash from Iceland, with more disruption likely over coming days.

A Met Office forecaster said ash which exceeded the acceptable level for flights would "clip" London in the early hours of Monday morning, but the plume would drift away during Monday night and Tuesday.

A Met Office forecaster said ash which exceeded the acceptable level for flights would "clip" London in the early hours of Monday morning, but the plume would drift away during Monday night and Tuesday.

Manchester, Liverpool, East Midlands, Birmingham, Teesside, Norwich and Doncaster airports are among those closed in England.

Airports in Northern Ireland, Prestwick near Glasgow, some Scottish islands and the Isle of Man are also affected.

London airports are open. Travellers are urged to check with their airline.

The air traffic authority Nats said the Civil Aviation Authority had been forced to extend a no-fly zone imposed earlier on Sunday after the ash cloud had spread further south.

In England, other airports inside the no-fly zone include Humberside, Leeds Bradford, Blackpool, Sheffield, Doncaster and Carlisle.

In Wales, Caernarfon is the only airport affected.

All three Northern Ireland airports - Belfast International, George Best Belfast City Airport and City of Derry Airport - have also been shut.

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