THUNDER BAY – The skies over Great Britain are about to re-open to commercial airlines. he volcanic eruption has reduced and the volcano is not currently emitting ash to altitudes that will affect the UK. Assuming there are no further significant ash emissions we are now looking at a continuously improving situation.
Based on the latest information from the Met Office, NATS advises that the restrictions currently in place across UK controlled airspace will remain in place until 0700 (local time) tomorrow, Tuesday.
From 0700 (local time) tomorrow, Tuesday, Scottish airspace will be open, and south to a line between Teesside and Blackpool. Mainland Scottish airports will be open.
This is a dynamic and changing situation and is therefore difficult to forecast beyond 0700 local; however, the latest Met Office advice is that the contaminated area will continue to move south with the possibility that restrictions to airspace above England and Wales, including the London area, may be lifted later tomorrow (Tuesday).
We will continue to monitor Met Office information and review our arrangements in line with that. We will advise further arrangements at approximately 2100 (local time), today.
It is now for airports and airlines to decide how best to utilise this opportunity. Passengers should contact their airlines to find out how this will affect their travel plans.
The Met Office in Britain reports, “Eruptions from the Eyjafjallajökull volcano are weakening but, for the time being, weather patterns continue to blow volcanic ash towards the UK.
“Met Office and NERC observations are consistent with Met Office model forecasts for spread of ash over UK and north-west Europe. The Met Office commissioned NERC Dornier flight yesterday observed volcanic ash over the UK as far south as Southern England. An international effort is now in progress to coordinate the gathering of additional observational data.
“The Met Office is the North-west European Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre with responsibility for issuing the Volcanic Ash Advisories for volcanoes erupting in this area. This means the Met Office’s priority and role is to support NATS, CAA and other aviation authority’s decision-making. It is for the aviation industry and regulator to set thresholds for safe ash ingestion. NATS are continuing to advise restrictions on UK airspace until Tuesday morning”.