Eyjafjallajokull: Eruption Strengthens, New Ash Cloud Formed
More Worries For Airlines And Passengers As Eyjafjallajokull Volcano Eruption Gains Strength
The situation around the Eyjafjallajokull volcano is becoming more ambiguous as stranded passengers are getting mixed messages about air space restrictions in the skies over Europe.
The latest update from the National Air Traffic Services that manages British airspace says that the volcano eruption in Iceland has strengthened and a new ash cloud is spreading south and east towards the UK. Just this morning, NATS reported that the volcanic eruption has reduced and the volcano was 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," read the report from NATS this a.m.
NATS predicted that the restrictions across U.K. controlled airspace would stay in place until 0700 (U.K. time) on Tuesday, April 20.
Now, NATS says the situation is worsening in some areas. Based on this information, the situation for Northern Irish airports for the morning is uncertain, due to the new ash cloud. The latest information shows that Scottish airports should be available from 0700 and more airspace over England may become available from 1300 although not as far south as the main London airports.
Originally, it was reported by NATS that from 0700 (local time) tomorrow, Scottish airspace would be open. The service also promised a possibility that restrictions to airspace above England and Wales, including the London area, may be lifted later on Tuesday. Now, it looks like the delays might be here to stay. Flights remain suspended at Heathrow Airport in London, third busiest airport in the world, until 07:00, Tuesday 20 April.
The next update from NATS is expected at 0300 on April 20.
Meanwhile, desparate passengers are either relying on hour-by-hour updates in hopes of seeing their flights cleared, or looking for ways to get home by other means via ferries, trains and automobile routes.