Volcanic ash cloud: Where is it now - May 18?
The volcanic ash cloud from Iceland dissipated today and a British Airways labor strike was canceled, allowing Europe's airports to return to near-normal operations. But the British Met Office is taking fire for its volcanic ash cloud forecasts.
Air travelers got a triple dose of good news Tuesday as the volcanic ash cloud from Iceland dissipated, a British court canceled a massive British Airways labor strike, and the British Civil Aviation Authority narrowed the no-fly zones.Skip to next paragraph
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All in all, it means the return to near-normal flight operations in Europe today and likely for the rest of this week.
“The ash cloud is not expected to continue to affect the UK as south-westerly winds have become established, driving the ash away from UK airspace,” the Meteorological Office (Britain's government weather service) announced late Monday on its website. The Met Office’s five-day forecast shows the ash cloud clear of Britain and continental Europe for the entire week.
Airports in London, Amsterdam, Scotland, and Ireland all reopened Monday, although airports on the Shetland Islands, north of Scotland, were reportedly still affected late Monday and the situation there appeared fluid Tuesday.
Also on Monday, the British Court of Appeal barred a five-day labor strike planned for May 18-22, ruling that British Airways members violated labor laws on strike-vote notification. The ruling allows British Airways to carry an additional 25,000 people daily, although the airline said it would take several days to return to normal operations.
Smaller no-fly zone
Further good news for travelers came on Monday from the British Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which announced that, starting midday Tuesday, it would allow flights through “higher ash densities than is currently permitted.”