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Ash clouds threaten air traffic

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Ash clouds threaten air traffic

Old 15th Apr 2010, 08:06
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From CFMU -Central Flow Management Unit 0746z

Update Following The Volcanic Ash Teleconference
In Accordance With Icao Regulations Atc Units Cannot Issue Ifr
Clearances To Traffic In Areas Affected By Or Forecast To Be
Affected By The Volcanic Ash Cloud
This Means That Zero Rates Have Been Applied For:
All Scottish Airspace
London Airspace North Of Birmingham
Copenhagen Northern Airspace. Southern Sectors Will Be Restricted
With Zero Rate From 1000 Utc
Oslo Airspace
Stavanger Airspace.
Stockholm North Sectors
The Above Are Currently Unavailable To Ifr Traffic. The Following
Areas Are Foreseen To Be Restricted Later In The Day:
Information Just Received That All London Sectors Will Not
Be Available To Ifr Traffic From 1100 Utc Until 1800 Utc
Dublin Airspace Will Be Restricted By Zero Rate From 1100 Utc
Shannon Airspace May Be Closed To Ifr Traffic Shortly But This Is
Under Review. This Would Mean T9 And T16 Would Not Be Available
Notams Will Be Issued By Relevant National Authorities Concerning
Route Availability Outside These Areas
All Traffic Operating Nat Should Load Extra Fuel In Anticipation
Lower Than Optimal Fl Allocation. This Includes Traffic Operating
On T9 And T16
At This Time Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Frankfurt And
All Other Aerodromes South Of The North Sea And English
Channel Are Unaffected.
Next Teleconference Will Be At 1000 Utc. Details In A Separate Aim
Network Operations
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Old 15th Apr 2010, 08:07
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Latest ash map, no wonder UK airspace is being shut down.
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Old 15th Apr 2010, 08:10
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British Airways News - Latest BA News

Disruption due to volcanic eruption in Iceland

Last updated: 08:25 15 April 2010

There was a large volcanic eruption in Iceland on Wednesday April 14.

Due to the weather conditions, a plume of volcanic ash has now spread southwards towards northern Europe and is severely affecting all airlines' flight activity in the area.

For safety reasons and on the direction from Air Traffic Control Service (Nats) a decision has been made to cancel a number of flights and close all London airports. As a result ALL airlines will be impacted and we will therefore not be able to operate services after 11.30am from London Heathrow, London Gatwick and London City.

All British Airways domestic services have been cancelled on Thursday 15 April.

The safety of our customers, crew and aircraft is of paramount importance and will not be compromised.
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Old 15th Apr 2010, 08:11
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NATS site has now crashed.
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Old 15th Apr 2010, 08:12
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Sqawk Ident,
That explains it to me thanks.
No IFR clearances, no airline flights.

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Old 15th Apr 2010, 08:13
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According to 5Live BAA say Heathrow and Stansted are closed from 1200 local.

If it's coming south any ideas whether this will affect Brussels and Amsterdam ?
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Old 15th Apr 2010, 08:15
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Finnish northern areas are restricted/closed. Most northbound flights out of Helsinki are cancelled. Morning southbound flights from northern Finland and Lapland have been flown to Helsinki.

E145 driver
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Old 15th Apr 2010, 08:25
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working ex LHR 2m....looks like a day off from the charts.
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Old 15th Apr 2010, 08:27
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Guys anyone care to make a guess how long this will affect flights for?
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Old 15th Apr 2010, 08:29
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I have "pinched" this from a weather forum. It explains much:

If the non-volcanic cloud layers disperse or have large enough gaps, you should easily be able to see these volcanic ash layers. They will look like dirty cirrus or more properly cirro-stratus, and they should be drifting south at the height they are currently at (about 15-20k ft). They are not white like normal cirrus or even grey so much as a sort of light beige to brown colour, but they do start to resemble cirro-stratus ice crystal clouds from what I recall of similar intensity volcanic ash clouds here in 2008 (from Alaska). They won't block the sunlight by more than 5-10% and you may see parhelia (sundogs) associated. As to where and when I am gathering the more concentrated parts are over northern Scotland now but more dispersed early segments are probably visible as far south as central England.

I expect this will get worse in terms of disruption and better in terms of viewability because it will take probably at least 3-5 days for this initial burst to disperse even if the volcano stops erupting shortly, which of course is not a given -- and the weather pattern favours more direct delivery of the ash plume to the British Isles as time passes now to Sunday. However by Sunday with that cold front coming through, the skies may become too cloudy to see the volcanic ash, yet at the same time the more turbulent conditions may bring some concentrations down towards the surface and have an impact, possibly moderate (I would doubt severe) on air quality or health considerations for the vulnerable.

Just to give you an idea, when Mount St Helens blew in 1980, ash fell to a thickness of a millimetre at a distance downwind about equivalent to northwest Scotland in this case (it fell to much larger depths closer to the volcano but by analogy those locations would be over the ocean except for the Faeroes which could conceivably see a half inch ash fall from a major Icelandic eruption).

I have the feeling this might cause disruption for over a week, it's bad luck that the wind direction is NW at upper levels for that whole period, more or less.
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Old 15th Apr 2010, 08:29
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Somebody mentioned earlier about the possibility of regional turboprops using lower levels (outside CAS) to operate their flights.

I guess this would be a perfectly legal flight, but would the airline allow it in practice? Or would it contravene a policy or otherwise be deemed 'too risky' flying outside CAS?
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Old 15th Apr 2010, 08:47
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what is the situation with the aircraft already enroute to the uk/northern europe from the US? Are they going to be given a more southerly routing, avoiding the affected airspace or turned back?
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Old 15th Apr 2010, 08:50
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Surely flying the Turboprop's at lower levels is just as dangerous as flying right up to the last minute the cloud is expected to hit particular areas. Although the cloud is currently above 20000ft, what's to say it will not descend? What does the turboprop do then? If you cannot see the cloud & something at 15000ft gets affected, not much airspace left to restart & recover. Would you want to carry passengers with that risk? That's why the airspace is being closed "early" just incase the cloud drift speed increases or the fragments actually fronting the cloud aren't being picked up on satellite.

European Airports are being affected as all flights planned to route through UK airspace after 11:00z are suspended and will have to re-route via France/Spain.
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Old 15th Apr 2010, 08:54
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A flight out of Las Vegas with friends on was turned back to LV after 2 hours. Just landed back there. Live radar seems to show lots heading for Schipol or Geneva.
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Old 15th Apr 2010, 08:58
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BBC News ticker quotes BAA as suspending all flights from LHR and STN from 1200BST.
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Old 15th Apr 2010, 09:02
  #76 (permalink)  
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No Flights Allowed Into British Airspace From 1100local
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Old 15th Apr 2010, 09:09
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Met Office Charts

If you look closely at the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre charts from the Met Office, you will see the lowest levels the dust is expected is around 5000ft in some areas. Although the main plume is expected to be higher, it's the lower level stuff that is causing the problems for take off, landing etc.

Met Office: Volcanic Ash Advisory Centres
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Old 15th Apr 2010, 09:24
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So, taking into account the current situation, and asking kindly for your expert opinions, does anyone have any idea where a CX flight currently en-route from HKG to LHR (due to land 16:00) might end up. Amsterdam? Paris? Frankfurt?

Thanks indeed!
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Old 15th Apr 2010, 09:25
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Why is Ezy dragging its arse?

BAA is shutting the UK airspace down after midday.... fine,

Responsible airlines have already made statements on their respective websites advising punters that:

BA will have no flights in or out of UK today
Ryanair will have no flights out of UK today

Ezy however still is dragging its arse...according to their website one should 'monitor the flight' before setting off....to a closed for business airport, I imagine?????

Com'on guys, if any of you orange boffins are reading this...


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Old 15th Apr 2010, 09:31
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Guys anyone care to make a guess how long this will affect flights for?
Anything from a few days to a few years, the areas affected would depend on wind direction though. The last much smaller eruption lasted about a month.
There is still the danger the really big volcano could blow (I forget its name) as it did at least once before.

The cloud is even on its way to southern Poland..

Video of the eruption

VÝsir - Magna­ myndskei­ af flˇ­inu
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