The Volcanic Ash Cloud : It’s back and closing the airspace…again

Just when you thought the looming volcanic ash cloud looming over Europe that closed the airspace for days on end in mid-April had gone away … its back.

Due to changes in atmospheric conditions and an increase in ash density in the air, the British Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will be closing portions of the airspace over North Ireland and Scotland tomorrow, Tuesday the 4th of May starting at 6:00am GMT.

Along with the CAA’s closing of airspace, the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) intends to issue restrictions on all flights into and out of Ireland from 6:00am to 12:00pm GMT. Neither the CAA or IAA airspace closures are expected to impact trans-Atlantic traffic from North America into non-impacted European airports.

Below is a weather map showing the movement of the current volcanic ash cloud as it spans from Iceland to the skies over Ireland and the United Kingdom.

If you’ve wondered the kind of havoc volcanic ash can wreak on an aircraft engine, below the weather map is a photo of the inside of a Finnish F/A-18 Hornet engine that flew through the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud during its ignition eruption … its not pretty. The inside of an F/A-Hornet engine should not look like its been blasted with sandpaper.

Happy Flying!

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