As of 12noon today, the Entire UK Airspace has been closed to non-emergency air traffic. Why is it shut? Well there has been a pretty large volcanic eruption in Iceland, 1000miles away and the dust and ash which has expressed from the Valcano are being blown over northern Europe causing a danger to Aircraft.
Why is volcanic ash dangerous to aircraft? Well the mixture of rock and dust particles actually melt to form molten glass inside a jet engine, with the outcome similar to pouring treacle into your car, which you should never ever do, but you can imagine the outcome! Also Volcanic ash is highly abrasive and scratches the body work and windows of an aircraft, and if its bad enough can actually pretty much block out a pilot view from the cockpit meaning instrument landings only!
Other airspaces in northern europe have closed or are closing as well, in the UK the air traffic control body will have a meeting at 8pm local time to decide what to do next. The fine weather we’re having just now doesnt help disperse the dust.
This means, no flights at all are taking off or landing in the UK, except under emergency conditions. So rather than go to the airport it’s advisable to contact your Airline first.
In the Aviation Industry, safety comes first.
Originally posted 2010-04-15 16:59:12.