NATS | UK airspace to open Tuesday on volcano news

Monday, December 10th, 2012 By

British airways jet on the ground in Canada.

British Airways is just one of the UK airspace airlines waiting hopefully for NATS to reopen flights. Image from Flickr.

The latest volcano news speaks well for all those waiting to fly through UK airspace. NATS, the National Air Traffic Services agency, announced that as of 6:00 GMT Tuesday, UK airspace would be reopened for commercial travel. With thousands of air passengers stranded and left to find cheap payday loans to try to live in airports or make it home via other means, this news was greeted with excitement.

Latest volcano news from NATS

The volcano news that has been headlining all over the world the last few weeks has been of special interest to NATS. The agency that controls UK airspace has conducted several “test flights” to see if the ash cloud is safe to fly through. Since Eyjafjallajoekull began erupting, the amount of sand, ash, glass and rock in the air has been steadily increasing. The ash cloud appears to be reducing in density and is moving south of Britain.

UK airspace closed since Thursday

Last Thursday morning, NATS announced that UK airspace would be shut down. The ash from the volcano in Iceland was simply too thick for commercial air flights to safely fly in UK airspace. The debris in the ash cloud could not only reduce visibility, but could easily damage aircraft engines. The grounding of UK airspace led to many passengers being stuck in airports. Some have taken no fax cash advance money to get rides on boats or trains. John Cleese, stuck because NATS closed UK airspace, took the extreme step of a $5,000 cab ride to make it to his final destination. Some estimates say that more than $200 million per day is being lost by the closing of the UK airspace.

NATS plans staggered opening of UK airspace

The opening of UK airspace will not happen in one large chunk. Instead, a line drawn between Teesside and Blackpool will be drawn, and airports south of that line will open. Scotland and Northern England will have to wait for further notice to see if the ash cloud thins enough for safe air flight. NATS highlights that with constantly-developing volcano news, it is difficult to predict exactly what will happen to UK airspace.


Travel Weekly
BBC News

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