NATS is delighted that restrictions on UK airspace can today be eased, thanks to new measures from the Civil Aviation Authority.
Aircraft can now safely fly through ‘medium density' ash following the introduction of a new zone that defines the concentration of the ash cloud.
"NATS has been at the heart of this ground-breaking proposal and our people have worked very closely with the Irish Aviation Authority, CAA and the rest of the industry to make it happen," said NATS Chief Executive Officer, Richard Deakin.
"Every leading player in aviation has been helping to build vast amounts of data about the effects of volcanic ash over the last month. There is mounting evidence that aircraft can fly safely through areas of medium density, provided some additional precautions are taken. This is now what has been agreed."
Richard added that teams at NATS had been working all hours to create new and enhanced procedures to make sure the changes can take place as safely and as effectively as possible.
Previously, the CAA has dealt with the ash cloud by applying No-Fly Zones (NFZ) in areas of greatest ash density, and Enhanced Procedures Zones (EPZ) in areas of low density, which were introduced during the six-day crisis last month.
Today's breakthrough means a third Time Limited Zone (TLZ) is now being introduced for areas of medium ash density.
As a result of this change, there are no predicted restrictions on UK airspace in the immediate future. If that picture changes, NATS will update its website as necessary. Schiphol reported on their website: Air traffic resumed
Air traffic in and out of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has been resumed since Monday 13.00 hrs. However, it will take time till airtraffic will operate according to schedule. Schiphol and airlines therefore request passengers to check with their airline before coming to the airport. NATS Update on Saturday 15 May, 23:45 -
A high density volcanic ash cloud is rapidly encroaching on Northern Ireland. As a result, a no-fly zone has been imposed by the CAA in airspace over parts of Northern Ireland, however Belfast International and Dublin airports will remain open
, from 0100 (local) to 0700 on Sunday 16 May.
There are currently no other restrictions within UK airspace. We are working closely with the Met Office and with the CAA, which agrees no-fly zones based on Met Office data, and will issue any further notice on this website as necessary.NATS Update on Monday 10 May, 09:00 -
The high density area of the volcanic ash cloud is now lying to the north-west of the UK and, as a result, there are currently no restrictions within UK airspace.
We continue to maintain close dialogue with the Met Office and with the CAA, which agrees no-fly zones based on Met Office data, and will issue any further notice on this website as necessary.NATS Update on Sunday 9 May, 11:45 -
The high density area of the volcanic ash cloud is now lying to the north-west of the UK and as a result, there are currently no restrictions within UK airspace. This is apart from those affecting Stornaway, Benbecula and Barra airfields, which lie within the no-fly zone from 1300 (local) to 1900.
We continue to maintain close dialogue with the Met Office and with the CAA, which agrees no-fly zones based on Met Office data, and will issue any further notice as necessary. NATS Update on Tuesday May 4 at 06:30 -
Based on the latest information from the Met Office and the CAA, NATS advises that, due to a heavy concentration of volcanic ash, a no-fly zone is in place in the west of Scotland and Northern Ireland. This includes some airports in the Western Isles from 0700 (local time) until at least 1300 (local time).
Apart from the no-fly zone, normal air traffic control operations are expected within Scottish airspace during this period, including Scottish airports, although some regulation may be required in light of operational experience.
Conditions around the movement of the layers of the volcanic ash cloud over the UK remain dynamic. NATS will continue to monitor the latest Met Office information and the CAA's updates on the density of the ash cloud across the UK.
The next update will be at approximately 1200 (local time).www.nats.co.uk