Cloud of volcanic ash approaching Netherlands

25th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

The Icelandic ash cloud which has been floating over Europe since Sunday could lead to disruptions at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport on Wednesday.

A spokesperson for Air Traffic Control the Netherlands said: “If everything stays the same, ash with a higher concentration may enter a part of Dutch airspace on Wednesday”. The National Aerospace Laboratory sent up a plane on Tuesday evening to examine the ash cloud. A spokesperson said the flight was a ‘preliminary orientation’. “It was the first flight of probably a series of flights, during which we will measure how high the concentration of ash particles really is.”

On Tuesday, about 500 flights out of a total of 29,000 were cancelled. KLM was among the first airlines to cancel flights. The Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre in London says the ash clouds will be located over Denmark on Wednesday, which is expected to disrupt air traffic there. The same applies to the south of Norway and the southwest of Sweden.

KLM has cancelled two flights to Norway, and other airlines are also avoiding the areas where ash concentrations are high or for which insufficient data are available. Flights to northern England and Scotland were expected to resume on Tuesday evening.

The International Air Transport Association says it’s pleased that the new eruption of an Icelandic volcano and the accompanying ash cloud have not led to a closure of European airspace. However, the organisation said it would breathe a little easier if the European agreements concluded last year were formalised. IATA says passengers are still at the mercy of potentially conflicting decisions taken at a national level.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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