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No effect yet from eruption of Grimsvötn volcano: EUROCONTROL

23-May-2011 9:03 AM

EUROCONTROL announced (22-May-2011) that eruption of Grimsvötn in Iceland is not expected to have an effect of European airspace. The pan-European air navigation services provider stated it was advised by the Icelandic Met Office that the plume of ash has reached a height of 12km or higher around Iceland and is drifting in a north-easterly direction. EUROCONTROL affirmed on 22-May-2011 that there is no impact on European or trans-Atlantic flights and the situation is expected to remain so for the next 24 hours. It remains in constant dialogue with airlines about the situation. Iceland's Keflavik International Airport advised all passengers travelling to and from the airport to check with their airline's website to determine whether the services will operate. The airport cancelled all domestic services [22-May-2011] as a result of the volcanic eruption, which is Iceland's largest volcanic eruption in more than a century, according to the University of Iceland. European airlines have been warned that the ash could reach northern Scotland by Monday as well as other parts of Britain, France and Spain by Thursday or Friday if the eruption continues at the same rate. The University, however, stated that "it’s likely that the eruption is dwindling", and is now less powerful than the Eyjafjallajokull eruption that closed European airspace in Apr-2011 (Bloomberg, 23-May-2011). [more - EUROCONTROL]

Naviair, Iceland's air navigation services provider, announced (22-May-2011) the concentration of volcanic ash in the eastern part of Greenland Air space around is considered at a higher level (zone 1). This zone means:

  • A small part of Greenlandic airspace (below FL195, approx 6km) will close at 0:00 UTC 23-May-2010 until 06:00 UTC;
  • The area can be described as a stripe over the sea between Greenland and Icelandic airspace around Constable Point (north of Kulusuk);
  • Airliners and airports has been informed by the normal channels (NOTAM);
  • No airports lies within the closed area and the closure will not have an affect on the regular air traffic. [more - Naviair]