Flights resume following ash threat

Flights resume following ash threat

Flights from Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic have resumed following a brief application of airspace restrictions earlier this morning.

The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) had suspended aviation operations late last night, as ash from the volcano in Iceland again threatened airspace.

However, the IAA has now cleared Irish Airports to open for full operations, with Dublin, Shannon, Cork, Knock, Donegal, Waterford, Kerry, Galway and Sligo airports all now resuming normal operations.

“We expect operations to be normal at all Irish Airports for the rest of today,” explained the IAA in a statement.

“Our decision to close earlier today was based solely on the safety risks to crews and passengers as a result of the drift south of the volcanic ash cloud caused by the north easterly winds.”

National Air Traffic Services

In the UK National Air Traffic Services (NATS) took a similar decision, allowing the majority of airspace to reopen.

The development means airports in Northern Ireland and the west of Scotland, which had been closed since 07:00 this morning, can now reopen

However, a very small no-fly zone has been identified by the Civil Aviation Authority in the north-west corner of UK airspace.

“This no-fly zone is not expected to have any impact on UK operations,” NATS confirmed in a statement.

“NATS continues to monitor the latest Met Office information and updates from the CAA.”

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Travel Disruption

The impact of the decision to close airspace across the United Kingdom and Ireland is still being felt.

Aer Lingus cancelled all UK and European flights scheduled to depart and arrive into Dublin, Cork, Shannon and Belfast airports before 13:00 today, leaving thousands of passengers anxiously waiting at airport.

“Aer Lingus sincerely regrets the disruption that this airspace closure causes for our customers and would like to reassure its customers that they are doing everything possible to minimise the negative effects on them,” read a statement from the Irish flag-carrier.

Similarly Ryanair cancelled all flights before 14:00, while easyJet has warned of disruption to departures in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Edinburgh and Glasgow also had a Continental Airlines departure and arrival service between each airport and Newark, New Jersey, cancelled following the NATS decision.