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European Air Navigation Service Providers updates

22-Apr-2010 10:05 AM

EUROCONTROL anticipates to handle almost 100% of usual European air traffic volumes today (22-Apr-2010). Over 100,000 flights have been cancelled since 15-Apr-2010. Approximately 22,500 flights in European airspace were handled on 21-Apr-2010, or 80% of normal volumes. All European airspace is available above 20,000 feet. Trans-Atlantic flights operations have returned to normal, with 338 flights arriving in Europe on 21-Apr-2010. Airspace below 20,000 feet is generally available, although restrictions are still in force in very limited areas, including Finland airports and parts of northern Scotland. [more]

UK Civil Aviation Authority CEO, Andrew Haines, stated the authority "led the way" in determining when to reopen UK airspace and based its decision on robust scientific evidence and data. [more]

UK Civil Aviation Authority: "The volcanic ash cloud over Europe created an unprecedented situation for aviation and in particular the UK with its greater proximity to the eruption. At no other time has such an extensive amount of volcanic ash settled, in stagnant weather conditions, over some of the most congested airspace in the world. The existing international guidance for 'planes encountering volcanic ash is to AVOID AVOID AVOID, so allowing for zero interaction between jet engines and ash. This guidance assumed there would continue to be flight paths which would allow avoidance but in this case there was not the space to do so," Andrew Haines, CEO. Source: UK Civil Aviation Authority, 21-Apr-2010.

DFS confirmed German airspace has been reopened for flights under instrument flight rules (IFR flights). IFR flights are possible at all German airports until further notice. [more]

NATS stated traffic levels have returned to approximately 80% of normal as of 1800 on 21-Apr-2010. Traffic volume is expected to approach 90% on 22-Apr-2010. [more]