18th October 2018
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All flights to and from Shetland back in the air as ash cloud departs

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Flights in and out of Shetland are now operating as normal. Click on image to enlarge.

Flights in and out of Sumburgh are operating normally again after the more concentrated ash cloud from the Icelandic volcano finally moved out of British airspace.

Earlier in the day the BE6918 and BE6919 services to Inverness via Kirkwall and back were cancelled when a fresh no-fly zone was imposed by the authorities on airspace above Stornoway, Inverness, Wick and Kirkwall from 7am to 1pm.

There were also some minor delays on flights to and from Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow during the morning as aircraft took longer routes to avoid the ash cloud.

The Flybe service operated by Loganair resumed operations again yesterday after a new agreement was reached with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) allowing it to fly in areas “where volcanic ash is present, but at sufficiently low concentrations that it does not pose any risk to flight safety”.

However, a cloud of ash with a concentration deemed unsafe lingered over the Western Isles, Orkney and the Highlands this morning, forcing Loganair to ground services to and from those destinations.

The company’s commercial director Jonathan Hinkles said this afternoon: “I am pleased to advise that services on all Loganair routes are now operating as normal. Flights have been restored this afternoon to Stornoway, Kirkwall and Inverness as no-fly zone restrictions have now been lifted by the Civil Aviation Authority and National Air Traffic Services due to the concentrated volcanic ash area moving out of UK airspace.

“A combination of the latest volcanic ash and weather charts provide a high degree of certainty that all services throughout the weekend of 24th-25th April can operate as planned. However, we do still recommend that customers continue to check the website for any further flight information updates before setting out for the airport.

“Once again Loganair would like to thank its customers for their patience and understanding over the last seven days as we have faced unprecedented challenges posed by various airspace closures.”

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2 comments

  1. Dr John B Hunt

    Dear Readers
    Back in 1991 when the Icelandic volcano Hekla erupted, the Shetland people generously helped in my volcanological research and I’m appealing for such help again. If volcanic fumes are being sensed in shetland there is a strong possibility that volcanic ash (a very fine glassy pumice-like dust called tephra) could make landfall and to better undrstand similar events from prehistorical ash falls I am trying to obtain modern samples. If readers can help this could be achieved, with my gratitude, as folows:
    place a pint glass upturned outside away from the road; smear the outside of the glass in vaseline. After three days wipe off the vaseline with a small fragment (post-card sized) of old linen sheet or ideally an old handkerchief. Write the date of sampling on it please. This can be sent to Dr John Hunt c/o Julia Newberry, Dept of Natural Sciences, University of Gloucestershire, Francis Close Hall, Gl50 4AZ, Cheltenham, UK.
    Again with great thanks to my favourite islanders.
    Yours faithfully,
    John
    Dr John B Hunt F.R.G.S

    Reply
  2. Dr John B Hunt

    As a follow up to my previous request/appeal, especially as some light rain is forecast, a simpler sampling method may be more effective:
    1. Take a slightly moistened clean handkerchief or similar and pin it (with drawing pins) stretched square to a flat wooden board exposed with a clear sky view. If it can be kept moist this would help. At the end of the event (by the weekend) if the handkerchief should be placed without contamination into a plastic freezer bag prior to posting. Mr Wheeler is correct, the time after rainfall provides the most likely opportunity to see the light/dirt dusting that the ash may create. Layers of similar material 4000-6000 years old are found in many Shetland peat bogs and they provide a useful dating/chronological tool for archaeologists.

    with all good wishes,
    John, Dr John Hunt

    Reply

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