Ash triggers new air chaos

Ash triggers new air chaos

Irish, UK airports closed for hours

Ash triggers new air chaos

Smoke and ash billowing from Eyjafjallajokull volcano. File Photo AFP

But by early afternoon the authorities said that only a small expanse over northwestern Scotland remained closed.
The restrictions were far more modest than the six-day disruption that spread chaos across the globe in April as a layer of fine ash forced the closing of many of Europe’s busiest airports.

By contrast, Eurocontrol, the Brussels-based agency charged with coordinating air traffic management across the region, said on Tuesday that it did not expect any significant flight disruptions on Tuesday, with roughly 28,000 flights scheduled in Europe — in line with a normal weekday.

The Irish aviation authority declared its airspace reopened at 1 pm local time after closing it at 7 am.

Irish authorities had feared that a new plume of volcanic ash would endanger airplanes at lower altitudes, but concluded later that “Ireland will not fall within the predicted area of ash concentrations that exceed acceptable engine manufacturer tolerance levels.”

“Our decision to close earlier was based solely on the safety risks to crews and passengers as a result of the drift south of the volcanic ash cloud caused by the northeasterly winds,” the aviation authority said.