Eurocontrol: No major ash impact on air traffic

May 26, 2011 By SLOBODAN LEKIC , AP Aviation Writer
In this image from television, people watch a plume rising from the Grimsvotn volcano in Iceland Wednesday May 25 2011. Volcano experts in Iceland said that the eruption which began Saturday appeared to be tapering off. Ash from the volcano forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights over Britain on Tuesday as winds blew the ash over Scotland, but British airspace was clear on Wednesday. German air traffic control banned all takeoffs and landings at airports in Berlin, Bremen, Hamburg and Luebeck for several hours early Wednesday. (AP Photo/ RUV Iceland via APTN) ICELAND OUT

(AP) -- No significant disruptions of air traffic are expected in Europe in coming days as a result of volcanic activity, Eurocontrol said Thursday.

But the international airline pilots association warned its members to remain vigilant.

The European agency said activity from Iceland's Grimsvotn volcano has declined sharply.

"As a result, there are no areas of high concentrations predicted or observed over Europe today," said Brian Flynn, head of network operations for the Brussels-based agency.

"There are no flight restrictions anywhere," he added.

Earlier in the week ash clouds forced airport closures and hundreds of flight cancellations in Britain, Germany and elsewhere in northwestern Europe.

Some ash was projected to still linger over small parts of northern Scandinavia and northern Russia early on Thursday before dispersing later in the day. Other clouds were drifting between Iceland and Greenland.

But Flynn said these would not disrupt .

"Any significant ash concentrations are far out over the sea, at very low altitudes and well away from the air routes or airports," he said. "The expectation for the next couple of days is that there will be no disturbances to air traffic whatsoever."

While experts say particles in the could stall and sandblast planes' windows, some airline executives have argued the flight bans were a massive by badly prepared safety regulators.

Last year, European aviation authorities reacted to the April 14 eruption at Iceland's Eyjafjallajokul volcano by closing vast swaths of the continent's airspace between April 15-20. More than 100,000 flights were grounded, stranding an estimated 10 million travelers worldwide.

The International Federation of Airline Pilots Associations said that despite the all-clear it was still recommending to its members to "to err on the side of safety."

"IFALPA recommends that pilots plan (flights) to avoid areas of contamination at any level," a statement said.

Explore further: 'Saltwater' from fracking spill much different from ocean water

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New ash risk closes British, Irish airspace

May 05, 2010

Britain and Ireland were closing parts of their airspace Wednesday after a fresh cloud of ash arrived from the Icelandic volcano that caused air travel chaos in Europe last month.

Iceland volcanic ash grounds flights across Ireland

May 04, 2010

Aviation chiefs grounded flights into and out of Ireland and Northern Ireland on Tuesday as ash from an Icelandic volcano drifted in, causing fresh travel chaos for thousands of passengers.

EU moves to help aviation heal $3.3 billion losses

Apr 27, 2010

(AP) -- Europe should help its aviation sector recover from up to euro2.5 billion ($3.3 billion) in losses from the Icelandic volcano ash crisis by combining sweeping reform of air traffic control with short-term ...

Iceland ash emissions at 'insignificant' level: expert

Apr 21, 2010

Only an "insignificant" amount of ash is erupting from Iceland's Eyjafjoell volcano, one of the country's leading seismologists said Wednesday, as European skies finally began to clear, allowing air traffic ...

Recommended for you

'Shocking' underground water loss in US drought

13 hours ago

A major drought across the western United States has sapped underground water resources, posing a greater threat to the water supply than previously understood, scientists said Thursday.

User comments : 0