New Volcanic Ash Cloud Could Extend Travel Problems

Stewart Perry

It appears that a new ash cloud is currently heading into key European airspace. This crushes the hopes of many stranded travelers that their travel problems could be over soon. The Icelandic volcano that has grounded the aviation industry in Europe has showed signs of renewed activity. This once again delays the decision to ease the flight bans that have paralyzed European travel since last Thursday.

Scottish airports have been earmarked for a return to service. However a statement from NATS, which is Britain’s air traffic control provider, warned that the situation was constantly changing. They said that the volcano eruption in Iceland has strengthened, and a new ash cloud is spreading south and east towards the UK. This demonstrates the dynamic and rapidly changing conditions in which they are working.

Norway, which was able to reopen its airspace on Monday, was once again forced to close airports in the south and west parts of the country. However, Oslo stayed open. An earlier move to relax restrictions came within hours of an official acknowledgment that some of the computer models of the ash cloud could have been flawed.

Matthias Ruete, who is the European director general for mobility and transport, said on Monday that many of the assumptions in the computer models, including the concentration of ash, is not really known. It is a black box in certain areas. It’s one of the elements that they are not quite clear about.

Pressure from the airline industry has been increasing with estimates that lost revenue has hit more than $200 million a day. Airlines have been critical of the policy framework used by European officials to order the grounding of planes.

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Filed under Business & Finance, Health & Environment, Travel News, UK News, World News

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