SOLYMONE BLOG

ANOTHER MASSIVE ASH CLOUD WESTERN IRISH AIRPORT

DUBLIN – Iceland's volcano has produced a 1,000-mile-wide (1,600 kilometer-wide) ash cloud off the west coast of Ireland that will force western Irish airports to shut down again Friday, the Irish Aviation Authority announced.
The authority said shifting winds, currently coming from the north, had bundled recent days' erupted ash into a massive cloud that is growing both in width and height by the hour.
  • Eurocontrol, which determines the air routes that airliners can use in and around Europe, says the ash accumulation is posing a new navigational obstacle — because the cloud is gradually climbing to 35,000 feet (10,500 meters) and into the typical cruising altitude of trans-Atlantic aircraft. Until recent days, the ash had remained below 20,000 feet (6,000 meters).
  • The Irish Aviation Authority said the engine-wrecking ash would skirt Ireland's western shores Friday, forcing a half-dozen airports to ground flights for much of the day. However, the airports in Dublin, Cork in the southwest and Waterford in the southeast will remain open.
  • "The restrictions are required as the increased level of recent volcanic activity has created a massive ash cloud stretching 1,000 miles long and 700 miles wide," the authority said in a statement.
  • The latest alert came only hours after British and Irish authorities declared the all-clear after much of the same ash was blown southwest from Scotland through Ireland on Tuesday and Wednesday, closing airports all along the way. Those were the first European air closures since the initial April 14-20 crisis, when ash from Iceland's Eyjafjallajokul (pronounced ay-yah-FYAH-lah-yer-kuhl) volcano forced authorities across Europe to ground 100,000 flights and 10 million passengers.
Source: AP
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