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Iceland Volcano Causes Europe Travel Chaos

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Airports across Europe were thrown into chaos today after ash drifting from Iceland's erupting volcano caused several countries to close their airspace.

The potentially dangerous cloud of ash and rock spewed up by the volcano more than 1,000 miles away caused the U.K., Norway, Ireland and Sweden to enforce a nationwide no fly policy, stranding thousands of travelers .

France has also announced some airport closures, and Holland, Belgium, Denmark and Germany are expected to follow suit.

...

The United Kingdom and Scandinavia were the first hit by the vast cloud of ash this morning, and it is now heading for western Europe and could reach Russia early Friday morning. While the cloud itself is not harmful, residents of the northern Scottish island of Shetland complained of a strong smell of sulphur in the air.

U.K. controlled airspace is closed until 7 a.m. Friday, according to a statement on the NATS (National Air Traffic Services) Web site. The situation remains fluid, and the airspace could be closed for longer, Deborah Seymour, a NATS spokeswoman told ABC News.

The problem is twofold, according to Seymour. First, the volcano under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier is still erupting and therefore continues to pump out this potentially lethal ash, building up a bigger and bigger cloud. Secondly, the trajectory of the wind is pushing this ash cloud over the Atlantic straight toward the U.K. and northern Europe.

Not only would this volcanic cloud affect visibility, but it could also cause airplane engine failure.

http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/Green/iceland-volcano-europe-travel-chaos/story?id=10383194

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First Mt. Vesuvius, now this... :lol:

We should just cancel the Games. 2012 is not going to be a good year for the planet anyway.

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Most restrictions on UK airspace will stay in place until 1300 BST on Friday because of ash from a volcano in Iceland, air traffic controllers say.

But some flights may be allowed after 0100 BST from Northern Ireland and several airports in Scotland.

...

North Atlantic traffic to and from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Prestwick and Belfast may also be allowed after 0100BST.

Nats said the situation was not improving because the forecast affected area "appears to be closing in from east to west".

The UK's airspace restriction was the worst in living memory, a spokesman said.

...

In 1982 a British Airways jumbo had all four of its engines shut down as it flew through a plume of volcanic ash.

There was also an incident on 15 December 1989 when KLM Flight 867, a B747-400 from Amsterdam to Anchorage, Alaska, flew into the plume of the erupting Mount Redoubt, causing all four engines to fail.

Once the flight cleared the ash cloud, the crew was able to restart each engine and then make a safe landing at Anchorage, but the aircraft was substantially damaged.

The eruption under a glacier in the Eyjafjallajoekull area of Iceland is the second in the country in less than a month.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8623806.stm

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First Mt. Vesuvius, now this... :lol:

We should just cancel the Games. 2012 is not going to be a good year for the planet anyway.

We should be alright.The Mayan calendar gives us until December 21,so there's still time to fit in one last big party for the planet before we all go up in smoke and that has to be in London between July 27 and August 15!! ;)

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I wasn't aware of the news until I heard the announcements on the Underground at lunchtime - something about those changing at Green Park for the Piccadilly Line should be aware that Heathrow has been closed due to the volcanic clouds - it made things sound far more dramatic than they actually were!

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I remember the eruption of Chaiten volcano two years ago... there were a lot of chaos also in the flight for some weeks in Buenos Aires (1,500 kms away)...

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Just wait until Yellowstone blows up. :o

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Considering all of the potential earthquakes, volcanos and so forth with N. & S. America, Europe and Asia, Cape Town should be the only Olympic City from here on out!

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Hamburg Airport is closed since last evening - all arrivals and departures are cancelled until 12:00 today!!!

Hamburg Airport - official website with the information about the restriction

I am sitting in the office right now, which is at the airport - you can't see the volcano ash in the air, but the sun looks quite strange - she isn't red/orange/yellow as usual, but she is like a huge white disc (comparable to the moon, but much larger)

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Just wondering to the UK posters whether this has led to the party leaders changing their schedules due to airports being closed?

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Just wondering to the UK posters whether this has led to the party leaders changing their schedules due to airports being closed?

Chancellor Merkel was on her way back from Washington to Berlin - the flight was diverted to Lisbon...

It is still unclear if she flies directly to the funeral of the Polish President

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McLaren saved by 'miraculous' dash after Iceland's volcanic eruption

The McLaren team principal, Martin Whitmarsh, claims that only a "miraculous" series of events had ensured his team's preparations for this weekend's Chinese grand prix were not disrupted by the volcanic ash cloud that has resulted in flight restrictions across the UK.

A significant eruption from a volcano in Iceland has wreaked havoc with travel plans across Europe, including those for various sports events. McLaren had some parts still to send to Shanghai this week but ran into problems when some of their personnel were unable to fly as originally scheduled. But Whitmarsh said a mixture of quick thinking from a member of his team, coupled with a stroke of fortune, has ensured they have everything they need for the weekend.

"We had people coming yesterday with bits but they couldn't fly," he said. "It was quite a miraculous story in fact as someone then jumped in a car and drove five hours to Paris to catch an 11pm flight last night.

"That flight was brought forward to 10pm but then took off at 9:50pm, but he made the flight and the airport was shut at 10pm. It is a great story and the parts were delivered here. We have everything we need to perform this weekend."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2010/apr/16/mclaren-iceland-volcano-eruption

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Funeral of Polish president Lech Kaczynski faces delay over ash cloud

The volcanic ash cloud engulfing northern Europe is seriously disrupting arrangements for one of the most high-profile funerals ever staged in Poland.

President Obama, President Medvedev, a dozen other heads of state, the Prince of Wales and at least ten heads of government are due to touch down at Krakow airport on Sunday to pay respects to the late Polish President Kaczynski.

Meteorologists are predicting that the ash particles could still be influencing the safety of air travel by then. ”Even if it clears up by then, the US presidential visit could be in jeopardy,” said one official involved in the planning.

”The US Secret service needs to get things set up well in advance but transantlantic flights have to come close to Iceland and that’s too risky.”

Krakow and Warsaw airports were closed on Friday. Presidential aide Jacek Sasin said that postponing the funeral, either until late on Sunday or until Monday was a “very serious alternative.”

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article7099718.ece

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Quite extraordinary really. No flights over UK airspace for two days! Really wierd - we feel a bit cut off - but I guess that's no bad thing in a way! My boss got stuck in Poland and is struggling to get back. Same story all over Europe with people stuck in all sorts of places. The thing is that the wind will stay similar for the next week and if the eruption keeps happening there will be no changes! Wow!

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I just hope that the volcano (or another one) doesn't erupt again three weeks from now -- because that's the weekend I'll go on holiday. By plane...

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I just hope that the volcano (or another one) doesn't erupt again three weeks from now -- because that's the weekend I'll go on holiday. By plane...

Don't want to worry you,but the last time this volcano erupted was in 1821 and the eruption lasted for 2 years!! ;)

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Iceland volcano casts a cloud over European sports

LONDON — From a Premier League referee stranded in Romania to Bundesliga teams forced to travel across Germany by train rather than plane, the Iceland volcano is complicating European sports.

Steve Bennett was scheduled to handle the game between Manchester neighbors City and United on Saturday. But he is stuck in Romania, where he was taking charge of a course for budding referees. He was unable to fly home Friday because of a ban on flights leaving and entering Britain.

For two days, the volcano has been sending out a huge cloud of ash that the wind has blown across northern Europe, causing a danger to aircraft engines.

While the Premier League said Bennett would be replaced by Martin Atkinson for a game that could have a big impact on the title race, some teams have had to change travel plans and timetables.

Britain's national ice hockey team is headed for the world championships in Slovenia and was to play Saturday. With the ban on flights, the team is now forced to make the long journey by Eurostar train and then bus. Its game has been delayed until later in the day.

"The last 24 hours have been manic with us stuck down here at Gatwick airport," coach Paul Thompson said. "Whilst I am not relishing the next 24 hours being sat on a bus going to Slovenia, at least we now know that our first game has been moved to allow us an extra four hours.

"You never know, if we win this tournament it might become standard practice."

Although no soccer games in the Premier League or Bundesliga are in danger, some of the German teams are going by train rather than plane to far-flung matches.

Hertha Berlin took the train to Frankfurt, and Mainz did the same to Hamburg. Cologne said it was offering passengers stranded at the city's airport, one of many in Germany that was closed, free tickets to its Friday evening league match against local rival Bochum.

In Norway, Tromsoe IL assistant manager Agnar Christensen said on the club's Web site that the team will have to cancel its next match if the flight ban isn't lifted by Sunday.

The team's hometown of Tromsoe is more than 200 miles north of the Arctic circle. The team is to play at Sandefjord, which is hundreds of miles away, just south of Oslo.

The French federation has told Marseille that its game at Boulogne must proceed Saturday despite the long journey from the south coast to the north.

But at least the team is allowed to fly the more than 300 miles from Marseille to Auxerre in the Burgundy region in central eastern France. From there it will be a more than 200-mile bus ride to Boulogne in northwest France.

Also scrambling is Moroccan runner Abdellah Falil. He is in the elite field in Monday's Boston Marathon and is stranded in Paris.

Falil, who competed in the 10,000 meters at the Beijing Games, was supposed to arrive Wednesday, but now he's not expected until Saturday night at the earliest.

The Boston Marathon isn't the only race affected by the volcano.

"We've got the exact same problem," said Andreas Maier, an organizer of Sunday's Vienna City Marathon. "Runners can't make it to Vienna."

AP

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... after the Mrs Merkel (the German Chancellor) landed in Lisbon, she flew to Rome - then she was driven with a car to Bozen (which is in South Tyrol, which belongs to Italy) - her delegation followed by bus...

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I'd be curious to see how this affects the travel plans for the numerous heads of state heading to Poland tomorrow.

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I've heard that Prince Charles has cancelled his appearance at the funeral, but President Obama will fly to Krakow, just like German President Köhler and Chancellor Merkel. This is possible because air control wants to give the governmental planes special clearance to fly to Krakow in an altitude of 6,000 metres (normally planes fly in altitudes of 10,000 to 12,000 metres), below the ash cloud.

Isn't it really poignant that aviation is again taking place under very difficult conditions, for the funeral of a man who died because his plane crashed under very difficult conditions as well?

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I've heard that Prince Charles has cancelled his appearance at the funeral, but President Obama will fly to Krakow, just like German President Köhler and Chancellor Merkel. This is possible because air control wants to give the governmental planes special clearance to fly to Krakow in an altitude of 6,000 metres (normally planes fly in altitudes of 10,000 to 12,000 metres), below the ash cloud.

Isn't it really poignant that aviation is again taking place under very difficult conditions, for the funeral of a man who died because his plane crashed under very difficult conditions as well?

This says that Obama won't make it and Merkel might not either:

http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/04/17/poland.funeral/index.html?hpt=T2

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