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New guidance clears the way to fly through ash cloud

Monday 17 May, 1800

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. 

Update on Monday 17 May, 1645

According to the latest information from the CAA and the Met Office the volcanic ash cloud clears the UK for the period 1900 (local time) until 0100 tomorrow (Tuesday) and all airports in Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales will be available during this period. 

There may be some restrictions to helicopter operations in the North Sea where a no-fly zone is still in force during this period.  

We will update this information further as necessary.

Update on Monday 17 May, 1300

The CAA has lifted the no-fly zone that has been affecting flights at Heathrow and Gatwick until 1900 (local time) today. The decision comes following further information from the Met Office about the density and location of the ash cloud.  There are no restrictions at airports in Northern Ireland, England or Wales during this period.

From 1300-1900 the no-fly zone remains in place only in the Orkney and Shetland Islands.

Update on Monday 17 May, 1245

The CAA has lifted the no-fly zone that has been affecting flights at Heathrow and Gatwick until 1900 (local time) today. The decision comes following further information from the Met Office about the density and location of the ash cloud.  There are no restrictions at other English or Welsh airports during this period.

Until 1300 the no-fly zone remains in place in Northern Ireland, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness and Northern Scotland.

From 1300-1900 the no-fly zone remains in place in two key areas affecting operations in Northern Ireland and the Orkney and Shetland Isles. Airports falling within the no-fly zones include Belfast City, Londonderry, Kirkwall and Stornoway.  All other airports will be open.

Update on Monday 17 May, 1100

The CAA has lifted the no-fly zone that has been affecting flights at Heathrow and Gatwick this morning. The decision comes following further information from the Met Office about the nature and location of the ash cloud.

The no-fly zone remains in place in two key areas affecting operations in Northern Ireland and the Shetland Isles. Airports falling within the No Fly Zones include: Belfast City, Londonderry, Shetland and Orkney. All other airports are open.  

Update on Monday 17 May, 0500

The volcanic ash cloud continues to change shape and two key areas affect operations stretching from the South of England to Northern Ireland, and over much of mainland Scotland to the Shetland Isles.  As a result, no-fly zones have been imposed by the CAA in these areas, for the period 0700 local until 1300 local today (Monday).

Airports within the no-fly zones include all those in Northern Ireland, Ronaldsway, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness and Northern Scotland. Cardiff, Swansea, Bristol and Farnborough are also in the no-fly zone.

Heathrow and Gatwick airports will be clear of the no-fly zone however restrictions will have to be applied due to their close proximity to the no-fly zone particularly affecting Gatwick inbounds.

Information on airports in Ireland can be obtained from the Irish Aviation Authority website (www.iaa.ie).

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.

Update on Sunday 16 May, 2245

The high density volcanic ash cloud continues to move further south in the early hours of tomorrow morning.

For the period 0100 (local time) until 0700 tomorrow (Monday), airports inside the no-fly zone as imposed by the CAA, include; London Heathrow, Gatwick, Farnborough, London City, Shoreham, Biggin Hill, all airfields in Northern Ireland, Scottish Western Isles, Oban, Campbeltown, Caernarfon and Aberdeen. Cardiff remains open but operations may be limited due to close proximity of the no-fly zone.

Information on airports in Ireland can be obtained from the Irish Aviation Authority website (www.iaa.ie).

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.

Update on Sunday 16 May, 1630

For the period 1900 today (local time) until 0100 tomorrow (Monday) London’s main airports will still be clear of the no-fly zone imposed by the CAA due to the high density volcanic ash cloud.

The ash cloud continues to change shape and move further south to just north of Oxford during this period.  This brings Birmingham and Norwich inside the no-fly zone in addition to those airports already affected.  The northerly extent of the no-fly zone in England now includes Teesside, stopping just short of Newcastle, and tracking northwest in a line just north of Carlisle, which remains in the no-fly zone.  

Airports inside the no-fly zone in England and Wales now include Carlisle, Teesside, Humberside, Leeds Bradford, Blackpool, Ronaldsway, Caernarfon, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Doncaster, Norwich, Birmingham and East Midlands.

In Scotland the no-fly zone includes the Western Isles, Campbeltown, Prestwick and Oban.  All airports in Northern Ireland remain inside the no-fly zone during this period.

There are currently no other restrictions within UK airspace. Information on airports in Ireland can be obtained from the Irish Aviation Authority website (www.iaa.ie).

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.

Update on Sunday 16 May, 1030

The CAA’s no-fly zone required by the high density volcanic ash cloud will not affect London airports for the period 1300-1900 (local time) today.

The no-fly zone for this period has moved east to a line stretching from Prestwick on the west coast to Humberside on the east coast and south to a line just north of Birmingham.  Airports which fall within the no-fly zone include all those in Northern Ireland, Ronaldsway, Prestwick, Carlisle, Manchester, Liverpool, Doncaster, Humberside, Leeds Bradford and East Midlands and some Scottish island airports including Campbeltown, Islay and Barra.

There are currently no other restrictions within UK airspace. Information about Irish airspace can be found at on the IAA website.

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

Update on Sunday 16 May, 0435

A high density volcanic ash cloud is rapidly encroaching on Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man. As a result, a no-fly zone has been imposed by the CAA in airspace over parts of Northern Ireland.

Restrictions apply to Belfast International, Belfast Harbour & Ronalsdway (Isle of Man) airports from 0700 (local) until 1300 on Sunday 16 May.

The Irish Authorities have also advised of restrictions on airfields in NW Ireland from 0700 (local). Dublin and Shannon airports will remain open until 1300.

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.

Update on Saturday 15 May, 2345

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.

Update on Friday 14 May, 2100

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.

Update on Monday 10 May, 0900

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.

Update on Sunday 9 May, 1845

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 apart from an area in north-west Scotland affecting Barra airfield, which lies within the no-fly zone from 1900 (local) to 0100 tomorrow (Monday) morning.

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.

Update on Sunday 9 May, 0945

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 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.

Update on Sunday 9 May, 0745

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 apart from those affecting Inverness, Wick, Kirkwall, Stornaway, Benbecula and Barra airports, which lie within the no-fly zone from 0700 (local) to 1300.

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.

Update on Thursday 6 May, 0915

The high density area of the volcanic ash cloud is now lying off the west of Ireland 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. We will issue any further notice as necessary.

Update on Thursday 6 May, 0415

The no-fly zone imposed by the Civil Aviation Authority tracking the high density area of the volcanic ash cloud, has moved west overnight and has now cleared UK airspace.

According to latest information from the Met Office, from 0700 (local) today (Thursday) all UK airfields will be available.

We continue to maintain close dialogue with the Met Office and with the CAA, which is responsible for imposing no-fly zones. We will issue any further notice as necessary.

Update on Wednesday 5 May, 2145

The no-fly zone imposed by the Civil Aviation Authority continues to move south and west in line with the high density area of the volcanic ash cloud.  According to latest information from the Met Office, from 0100 (local) until 0700 tomorrow (Thursday) the airfields which will be inside the no-fly zone and therefore unavailable include all those in Northern Ireland plus Islay, Campbeltown, Ronaldsway, Lands End and the Isles of Scilly.  All other UK airfields will be outside the no-fly zone and available during this period.

Latest Met Office information suggests the cloud will move west overnight.  Based on this information, we expect most of the airfields listed above to become available again from 0700.  However, we would caution that the ash cloud is dynamic and continues to change shape and the situation may change again.  We continue to maintain close dialogue with the Met Office and with the CAA, which is responsible for imposing no-fly zones.  We will issue a further update at approximately 0330 tomorrow.

Update on Wednesday 5 May, 1630

The no-fly zone imposed by the Civil Aviation Authority continues to move further south and west in line with the high density area of the volcanic ash cloud.  According to latest information from the Met Office, Edinburgh Airport will come out of the no-fly zone and become available for operations from 1900 (local).  All other airfields currently within the no-fly zone remain within it from 1900 to 0100 tomorrow (Thursday).  During this period the no-fly zone extends over most of Ireland and clips the west coast of northern England and Wales; however, most of Wales, England and eastern Scotland are now outside the high density area.

Met Office advice suggests that the cloud will continue to move southwesterly overnight and we therefore hope that fewer restrictions will be necessary tomorrow (Thursday).  We continue to maintain close dialogue with the Met Office and with the CAA, which is responsible for imposing no-fly zones. The next updated Met Office information, covering the period 0100-0700 tomorrow, will be available at 1900 and restrictions will be re-assessed by the CAA in light of that information.  We will subsequently issue a further update.

Update on Wednesday 5 May, 1200

The no-fly zone imposed by the Civil Aviation Authority will extend from 1300 (local) today to include Belfast City, Belfast International, Ronaldsway (Isle of Man) and Edinburgh Airports. All other airfields currently within the no-fly zone remain within it.

Latest information from the Met Office shows that the ash cloud continues to move south and change shape. We continue to maintain close dialogue with the Met Office and with the CAA, which is responsible for imposing no-fly zones.

These latest restrictions will be re-assessed by the CAA at 1900. We will issue a further update following that.

Update on Tuesday 4 May, 2230

Updates concerning the volcanic ash situation have been posted on the CAA website: http://www.caa.co.uk

Update on Tuesday 4 May, 1230

We are expecting all UK airspace (including Northern Ireland) to be open this afternoon from 1300 (local time), with the exception of a very small no-fly zone identified by the CAA in the northwest corner of UK airspace. This no-fly zone is not expected to have any impact on UK operations.

NATS continues to monitor the latest Met Office information and updates from the CAA. We will provide more information as and when it is available.

Update on Tuesday 4 May, 0630

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, including 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).

Update on Friday 23 April, 1315

All UK airspace is currently available. Kirkwall, Stornoway, Wick and Inverness airports have been available from 1300 (local).

According to latest Met Office information, the volcanic ash cloud appears to be moving north. 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. Since the operational situation now appears to be stabilising, we do not plan any further updates.

Update on Thursday 22 April, 2130

Most of UK airspace continues to be available on Friday 23 April from 0100 (local) to 0700 (local).  The no-fly zone is moving north, with the result that Kirkwall, Wick and Inverness airports will be available during this time; Stornoway will remain closed.

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.

Thursday 22 April, 1930

NATS is managing the UK’s controlled airspace today at levels approaching 80 per cent of normal operations with 2,860 flights handled up to 1600 (local) today.

At this time of year, we would be dealing with fewer than 5,000 movements every 24 hours and the current numbers reflect the numbers of airlines which still have aircraft out of position. Tomorrow, we are likely to be starting the day at 90 per cent.

Most of UK airspace continues to be available from 1900 today (local) until 0100 (local) tomorrow, Friday 23 April. There is a no-fly zone over parts of Scottish airspace which means that Kirkwall, Wick and Inverness airports will not be available for operations during this period. Stornoway is already closed and will also remain closed throughout this period.

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.

Wednesday 21 April, 1845

Today, NATS has handled over 2600 movements in UK airspace up to 1800 local time – approximately 80 per cent of normal traffic levels. We are expecting a volume of traffic approaching 90 per cent from approximately 0700 tomorrow morning and are staffed appropriately to deal with this.

The latest guidance from the CAA shows the predicted location of dense volcanic ash in UK airspace over the far north of Scotland for the period 1900 on 21 April to 0100 on 22 April.  

Airspace at 20,000 ft or below over the Orkneys, the Shetland Islands and north of Aberdeen will not be available and airports north of Inverness will also be affected (Stornaway, Kirkwall, Wick and Sumburgh). High level Oceanic traffic flying over this area is not expected to be affected. 

Unless there is any significant change to our operations, we will not be issuing any further updates.

Wednesday April 21, 0945

Overnight most of the UK’s airspace has been available with the exception of an area over the north west of Scotland which has continued to be affected by a dense concentration of volcanic ash.  We continue to work with the latest information and guidance from our safety regulator, the CAA, the Met Office and the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre on the predicted movements of the area of dense volcanic ash.  Based on the latest information, we anticipate that this area will continue to centre on the north west of Scotland and may extend further south into Scottish airspace during today. 

Between the period of 0100 – 0700 on 21 April NATS handled 130 flights in airspace over England and Wales and 35 flights in Scottish airspace (including Northern Ireland).  We are in regular contact with the UK airports and airline operators to understand the latest information on flights entering UK airspace and our operation is ready to respond to an increase in demand.

Passengers should contact their airlines to find out how the current situation will affect their travel plans. We anticipate being able to provide a further update late this afternoon.

Tuesday April 20, 2300

NATS welcomes new CAA guidance and reopens airspace

We are delighted to report that most restrictions on UK airspace began to be lifted at 2134 (local time) this evening, following new guidance from the UK’s safety regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority on restrictions to UK airspace as a result of the volcanic eruption.

Air traffic control services have resumed in the UK with the exception of an area over the north west of Scotland which continues to be affected by a dense concentration of volcanic ash. Based on current information this situation is not expected to change overnight. The situation continues to be dynamic as a result of changing weather conditions and the prediction of dense areas of volcanic ash. NATS will continue to monitor the latest Met Office and VAAC information and the CAA’s updates on the availability of UK airspace.

This brings to an end a period of disruption and uncertainty for air passengers. Our operation is fully staffed and already responding to the backlog of flights entering UK airspace. We will be working with the airlines and airports to resume normal operations as soon as possible.

Due to the scale of the disruption, it will take some time for flights to resume normal operations and passengers are advised to check with their airlines for the latest information about flights.

There are no further operational changes expected overnight and on this basis our next update will be at 0900 (local time) on 21 April.

Tuesday April 20, 2040

Response to CAA statement

NATS has received new direction from the UK’s safety regulator, the CAA, on applying restrictions to UK airspace following the volcanic eruption in Iceland.

As soon as revised accurate information is available from the Met Office on the location of the dense ash cloud, NATS will review airspace availability and provide an update to airline operators on any airspace that has been restricted for safety reasons. We will issue a further statement by 2200.

Tuesday April 20, 1500

The situation regarding the volcanic eruption in Iceland remains dynamic and the latest information from the Met Office shows that the situation will continue to be variable.

Based on the latest Met Office information, part of Scottish and Northern Irish airspace including Aberdeen, Inverness and Edinburgh airports will continue to be available from 1900 today to 0100 tomorrow, Wednesday 21 April, and also south to Newcastle Airport. Glasgow and Teesside airports will additionally become available in this time period. Restrictions will remain in place over the rest of UK airspace below 20,000ft.

Flights above the ash cloud are now permitted in the UK; between 1900 today and 0100 tomorrow, this will enable aircraft movements above 20,000ft in UK airspace.

We will continue to monitor Met Office information and the situation is likely to change during the course of the day. We will make a further statement at approximately 2100 today.

NATS is maintaining close dialogue with the Met Office and with the UK's safety regulator, the CAA, in respect of the international civil aviation policy we follow in applying restrictions to use of airspace.

We are working closely with Government, airports and airlines, and airframe and aero engine manufacturers to get a better understanding of the effects of the ash cloud and to seek solutions.

Tuesday April 20, 0900

The situation regarding the volcanic eruption in Iceland remains dynamic and the latest information from the Met Office shows that the situation today will continue to be variable.

Based on the latest Met Office information, part of Scottish airspace including Aberdeen, Inverness and Edinburgh airports will continue to be available from 1300-1900 today, and also south to Newcastle Airport. Restrictions will remain in place over the rest of UK airspace below 20,000ft.

Overnight the CAA, in line with new guidance from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) decided flights above the ash cloud will be permitted in the UK; between 1300-1900 this will enable aircraft movements above 20,000ft in UK airspace.

We will continue to monitor Met Office information and the situation is likely to change during the course of the day. We will make a further statement at approximately 1500.

NATS is maintaining close dialogue with the Met Office and with the UK's safety regulator, the CAA, in respect of the international civil aviation policy we follow in applying restrictions to use of airspace.

We are working closely with Government, airports and airlines, and airframe and aero engine manufacturers to get a better understanding of the effects of the ash cloud and to seek solutions.

Tuesday April 20, 0245

Since our last statement at 2100 (local time) yesterday, 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 we are working. 

Latest information from the Met Office shows that the situation is variable. The information shows that Scottish airports should be available from 0700 (local time) and more airspace over England may become available from 1300 (local time) although not as far south as the main London airports.

We will continue to monitor Met Office information and the situation is likely to change during the course of the day.  We will make a further statement at approximately 0900 (local time), today, Tuesday 20 April. 

NATS is maintaining close dialogue with the Met Office and with the UK's safety regulator, the CAA, in respect of the international civil aviation policy we follow in applying restrictions to use of airspace.

We are working closely with Government, airports and airlines, and airframe and aero engine manufacturers to get a better understanding of the effects of the ash cloud and to seek solutions.

Monday April 19, 2200

Since our last statement at 1530 today, 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 we are working. 

Latest information from the Met Office shows that the situation is worsening in some areas.  Based on this information, the situation for Northern Irish airports for the morning is uncertain, due to the new ash cloud.  The latest information shows that Scottish airports should be available from 0700 and more airspace over England may become available from 1300 although not as far south as the main London airports. 

We will continue to monitor Met Office information and the situation is likely to change overnight.   We will make a further statement at approximately 0300 (local time), tomorrow, Tuesday 20 April and again at 0900 (local time).  

NATS is maintaining close dialogue with the Met Office and with the UK's safety regulator, the CAA, in respect of the international civil aviation policy we follow in applying restrictions to use of airspace.

We are working closely with Government, airports and airlines, and airframe and aero engine manufacturers to get a better understanding of the effects of the ash cloud and to seek solutions.

Monday April 19, 1530

The volcanic eruption has reduced and the volcano is not currently emitting ash to altitudes that will affect the UK. Assuming there are no further significant ash emissions we are now looking at a continuously improving situation.

Based on the latest information from the Met Office, NATS advises that the restrictions currently in place across UK controlled airspace will remain in place until 0700 (local time) tomorrow, Tuesday.

From 0700 (local time) tomorrow, Tuesday, Scottish airspace will be open, and south to a line between Teesside and Blackpool. Mainland Scottish airports will be open.

This is a dynamic and changing situation and is therefore difficult to forecast beyond 0700 local; however, the latest Met Office advice is that the contaminated area will continue to move south with the possibility that restrictions to airspace above England and Wales, including the London area, may be lifted later tomorrow (Tuesday).

We will continue to monitor Met Office information and review our arrangements in line with that. We will advise further arrangements at approximately 2100 (local time), today.

It is now for airports and airlines to decide how best to utilise this opportunity. Passengers should contact their airlines to find out how this will affect their travel plans.

Monday April 19, 1245

The Met Office advises that the Eyjafjallajoekull volcano is now less active than previously. NATS advises that the current restrictions across UK controlled airspace due to the volcanic ash cloud will remain in place until at least 0100 (local) on Tuesday 20 April.

Conditions around the movement of the layers of the volcanic ash cloud over the UK remain dynamic. We will continue to monitor the location of this ash cloud and look for opportunities to get aircraft moving again, whilst of course maintaining safety.

NATS is maintaining dialogue with the Met Office and with the UK's safety regulator, the CAA, in respect of the international civil aviation policy we follow in applying restrictions to use of airspace.

In the meantime, we continue to work closely with Government, airports and airlines, and airframe and aero engine manufacturers to get a better understanding of the effects of the ash cloud and to seek solutions.

Anyone hoping to travel should contact their airline before travelling to the airport.

The next update will be issued at approximately 1500 (local).

Monday April 19, 0830

Based on the latest information from the Met Office, NATS advises that the current restrictions across UK controlled airspace due to the volcanic ash cloud will remain in place until at least 0100 (local) on Tuesday 20 April.

Anyone hoping to travel should contact their airline before travelling to the airport.

Conditions around the movement of the layers of the volcanic ash cloud over the UK remain dynamic. NATS is maintaining close dialogue with the Met Office and with the UK's safety regulator, the CAA, in respect of the international civil aviation policy we follow in applying restrictions to use of airspace. We are currently awaiting CAA guidance.

We are working closely with Government, airports and airlines, and airframe and aero engine manufacturers to get a better understanding of the effects of the ash cloud and to seek solutions.

The next update will be issued at approximately 1500 (local) today.

Monday April 19, 0300

Based on the latest information from the Met Office, NATS advises that the current restrictions across UK controlled airspace due to the volcanic ash cloud will remain in place until at least 1900 (local) on Monday 19 April.

Anyone hoping to travel should contact their airline before travelling to the airport.

Conditions around the movement of the layers of the volcanic ash cloud over the UK remain dynamic. NATS is maintaining close dialogue with the Met Office and with the UK's safety regulator, the CAA, in respect of the international civil aviation policy we follow in applying restrictions to use of airspace. We are currently awaiting CAA guidance.

We are working closely with Government, airports and airlines, and airframe and aero engine manufacturers to get a better understanding of the effects of the ash cloud and to seek solutions.

The next update will be issued at approximately 0900 (local).

Sunday April 18, 2100

Based on the latest information from the Met Office, NATS advises that the current restrictions across UK controlled airspace due to the volcanic ash cloud will remain in place until at least 1900 (local time) on Monday 19 April.

There may currently be some limited opportunities in Shetland for flights, subject to individual co-ordination with ATC. However, anyone hoping to travel should contact their airline before travelling to the airport.

Conditions around the movement of the layers of the volcanic ash cloud over the UK remain dynamic. NATS is maintaining close dialogue with the Met Office and with the UK's safety regulator, the CAA, in respect of the international civil aviation policy we follow in applying restrictions to use of airspace. We are currently awaiting CAA guidance.

We are working closely with Government, airports and airlines, and airframe and aero engine manufacturers to get a better understanding of the effects of the ash cloud and to seek solutions.

The next update will be issued at approximately 0300 (local time).

Sunday April 18, 1500

Conditions around the movement of the layers of the volcanic ash cloud over the UK remain dynamic. NATS is maintaining close dialogue with the Met Office and with the UK’s safety regulator, the CAA, in respect of the international civil aviation policy we follow in applying restrictions to use of airspace. We are currently awaiting CAA guidance.

We are working closely with Government, airports and airlines, and airframe and aero engine manufacturers to get a better understanding of the effects of the ash cloud and to seek solutions.

Based on the latest information from the Met Office, NATS advises that the restrictions currently in place across UK controlled airspace will remain in place until at least 0700 (local time) tomorrow, Monday 19 April.

We will of course continue to make best use of any breaks in the ash cloud to offer opportunities to airlines as they arise. There may be limited opportunity in Orkney and Shetland from 1900 (local time) today for some flights to operate under individual coordination with ATC.  However, it is most unlikely that many flights will operate today and anyone hoping to travel should contact their airline before travelling to the airport. 

We will continue to monitor Met Office information and review our arrangements in line with that.   We will advise further arrangements at approximately 2100 (local time), today.  

Sunday April 18, 1000

The volcanic ash cloud from Iceland is currently spread across the UK.  Based on the latest information from the Met Office, NATS advises that the restrictions currently in place across UK controlled airspace will remain in place until at least 0100 (local time) tomorrow, Monday 19 April.

There may be limited opportunity in Orkney and Shetland from 1900 (local time) today for some flights to operate under individual coordination with ATC.  However, it is most unlikely that many flights will operate today and anyone hoping to travel should contact their airline before travelling to the airport. 

We will continue to monitor Met Office information and review our arrangements in line with that.   We will advise further arrangements at approximately 1500 (local time), today.  

Sunday April 18, 0300

The volcanic ash cloud from Iceland shows continued and extensive cover of the UK. Based on the latest information from the Met Office, NATS advises that the restrictions currently in place across UK controlled airspace will remain in place until at least 1900 (UK time) today, Sunday April 18.

We will continue to monitor Met Office information and will advise on further arrangements at approximately 0900 (UK time) later this morning.

Saturday April 17, 2045

The volcanic ash cloud from Iceland is moving around and changing shape. Based on the latest information from the Met Office, NATS advises that the restrictions currently in place across UK controlled airspace will remain in place until at least 1300 (UK time) tomorrow, Sunday 18 April.  

We will continue to monitor Met Office information and review our arrangements in line with that.   We will advise further arrangements at approximately 0300 (UK time), Sunday 18 April. 

Saturday April 17, 1445

The volcanic ash cloud from Iceland is moving around and changing shape. Based on the latest information from the Met Office, NATS advises that the restrictions currently in place across UK controlled airspace will remain in place until at least 0700 (UK time) tomorrow, Sunday 18 April.

There may be some airspace available within Scotland, Northern Ireland and England north of Leeds up till 1900 (UK time) today, which may enable some domestic flights to operate under individual coordination with ATC. We will be coordinating this closely with airlines and airports. We would repeat, it is most unlikely that many flights will operate today and anyone hoping to travel should contact their airline before travelling to the airport. After 1900 (UK time) today, Met Office forecasts show the ash cloud progressively covering the whole of the UK.

We will continue to monitor Met Office information and review our arrangements in line with that. We will advise further arrangements at approximately 2100 (UK time), today.

Saturday April 17, 0830

The volcanic ash cloud from Iceland is moving around and changing shape. Based on the latest information from the Met Office, NATS advises that the restrictions currently in place across UK controlled airspace will remain in place until at least 0100 (UK time) tomorrow, Sunday 18 April.

We are looking for opportunities when the ash cloud moves sufficiently for us to make some airspace available within Scotland and Northern Ireland, which may enable some domestic flights to operate under individual coordination with ATC; we will be coordinating this closely with airlines and airports. It is most unlikely that many flights will operate today and anyone hoping to travel should contact their airline before travelling to the airport.

We will continue to monitor Met Office information and review our arrangements in line with that. We will advise further arrangements at approximately 1500 (UK time).

Update at 0415

Following the latest information from the MET Office, NATS advises that restrictions across UK controlled airspace have been extended until at least 1900 (UK Time) today Saturday 17 April and that restrictions to Scottish and Manchester airspace have been re-applied until the same time.

Current forecasts show that the situation is worsening throughout Saturday. We are continuing to look for windows of opportunity to handle individual flights in UK controlled airspace.

The next update will be at approximately 0900 (UK time) as planned.

Friday April 16, 2045

The volcanic ash cloud continues to affect UK airspace. Following the latest update from the Met Office, NATS advises that the restrictions currently in place across UK controlled airspace will remain in place until at least 1300 (UK time) on Saturday April 17.

There are currently no airspace restrictions in Scotland, Northern Ireland and in an area over the North Sea that includes the Shetlands and Orkney Isles. Manchester, Liverpool and all airports North of those may be available from 0400 (UK time) – 1000 (UK time) for departures to and arrivals from the North and West subject to individual co-ordination. However, please be advised that the situation is continuously changing. Forecasts indicate that the ash cloud is expected to return over Northern England at 1000 (UK time) and it is likely that restrictions will be reintroduced.

Please note these arrangements do not mean that all flights will operate.  Anyone hoping to travel today or tomorrow should contact their airline before going to the airport.

We are looking for opportunities when the ash cloud moves sufficiently for us to enable some flights to operate under individual coordination with ATC.  

We will review further Met Office information and at 0900 (UK time) on Saturday we will advise further arrangements.

We continue to work closely with airports, airlines, and the rest of Europe to understand and mitigate the implications of the volcanic eruption.

Friday April 16, 1445

The cloud of volcanic ash continues to move south through the UK and the eruption in Iceland continues. Following a review of the latest Met Office information, NATS advises that restrictions preventing flights in controlled airspace over England and Wales will remain in place until 0700 (UK time) tomorrow, Saturday 17 April, at the earliest.

From 1900 (UK time) today ATC restrictions will be lifted in a large part of Scottish airspace including Scottish airports, Shetland, Orkneys and also Northern Ireland.

On this basis, North Atlantic traffic can also operate to/from points in this airspace. Please note these arrangements do not mean that all flights will operate. Anyone hoping to travel today or tomorrow should contact their airline before going to the airport.

We are looking for opportunities when the ash cloud moves sufficient for us to enable some flights to operate under individual coordination with ATC. Some aircraft were able to operate at Manchester this morning, although restrictions are now reapplied to Manchester.

We hope there may be some opportunity from the north into Newcastle after 0100 (UK time) tomorrow - Saturday. We will review further Met Office information and at 2030 (UK time) we will advise further arrangements. In general, the situation is dynamic and subject to change.

We continue to work closely with airports, airlines, and the rest of Europe to understand and mitigate the implications of the volcanic eruption.

Friday April 16, 0830

The cloud of volcanic ash continues to cover much of the UK and the eruption in Iceland continues. Following a review of the latest Met Office information, NATS advises that restrictions preventing flights in English controlled airspace will remain in place until 0100 (UK time) tomorrow, Saturday 17 April, at the earliest.

Flights in Northern Ireland and the Western Isles of Scotland to and from Glasgow and Prestwick will continue to be allowed until 1900 (UK time) subject to individual co-ordination.  North Atlantic traffic to and from Glasgow, Prestwick and Belfast may also be allowed in this period.

From 1900 (UK time), forecasts indicate that Scottish airspace may be able to accept domestic flights within Scotland and Northern/Southern Ireland, and North Atlantic flights to/from airports in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

We will review further Met Office information and at 1430 (UK time) we will advise further arrangements.  In general, the situation is dynamic and subject to change.

We continue to work closely with airports, airlines, and the rest of Europe to understand and mitigate the implications of the volcanic eruption.

Friday April 16, 0230

The cloud of volcanic ash continues to cover much of the UK and the eruption in Iceland continues. Following a review of the latest Met Office information, NATS advises that restrictions will remain in place in UK controlled airspace until 1900 (UK time) today, Friday 16 April, at the earliest.

However, flights in Northern Ireland and the Western Isles of Scotland to and from Glasgow and Prestwick may be allowed up to 1300 (UK time) today, subject to individual co-ordination. North Atlantic traffic to and from Glasgow, Prestwick and Belfast may also be allowed over the same period. We will review further Met Office information and at 0830 (UK time) we will advise the arrangements that will be in place until 0100 (UK time) on Saturday, 17 April.

In general, the situation cannot be said to be improving with any certainty as the forecast affected area appears to be closing in from east to west. We continue to work closely with airports, airlines, and the rest of Europe to understand and mitigate the implications of the volcanic eruption.

Thursday April 15, 2020

The cloud of volcanic ash continues to cover much of the UK. Following a review of the latest Met Office information, NATS advises that restrictions will remain in place in UK controlled airspace until 1300 (UK time) tomorrow, Friday 16 April, at the earliest.

However, flights from Northern Ireland and the Western Isles of Scotland to and from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Prestwick may be allowed in the period from 0100 (UK time) to 1300 (UK time) tomorrow subject to individual co-ordination. North Atlantic traffic to and from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Prestwick and Belfast may also be allowed in the period.

We will review further Met Office information and at 0230 (UK time) tomorrow we will advise the arrangements that will be in place through to 1800 (UK time) tomorrow. However be aware that the situation cannot be said to be improving with any certainty as the forecast affected area appears to be closing in from east to west. We continue to work closely with airports, airlines, and the rest of Europe to understand and mitigate the implications of the volcanic eruption.

Thursday April 15, 1400

The cloud of volcanic ash is now spread across the UK and continuing to travel south. In line with international civil aviation policy, no flights other than agreed emergencies are currently permitted in UK controlled airspace.

Following a review of the latest Met Office information, NATS advises that these restrictions will remain in place in UK controlled airspace until 0700 (UK time) tomorrow, Friday 16 April, at the earliest. We will review further Met Office information and at 2000 today (UK time) we will advise the arrangements that will be in place through to 1300 (UK time) tomorrow.

We continue to work closely with airports, airlines, and the rest of Europe to understand and mitigate the implications of the volcanic eruption.

* Times adjusted to show UK local rather than standard, global ATC time.

Thursday April 15, 0950

Following the latest update from the MET Office Statement, we have just issued a statement to alert our airline customers that from midday today until at least 6pm, there will be no flights permitted in UK controlled airspace other than emergency situations. This has been applied in accordance with international civil aviation policy. We continue to monitor the situation with the Met Office and work closely with airline customers and adjoining countries.