Ash cloud crisis cut flights by a fifth
Thursday 20 May 2010
The ash cloud crisis led to air traffic control company Nats handling 21.2% fewer flights last month compared with April 2009, it was announced today.
There were 141,956 flights in UK controlled airspace in April 2010, compared with 180,166 in April last year, Nats said.
At one stage in mid-April the ash levels from the Icelandic volcano eruptions were severe enough to prohibit all flights to and from UK airports.
Ian Hall, Nats' director of operations, strategy and standards, said: "For the UK's aviation industry, the widespread presence of volcanic ash was an unprecedented event. We worked with the regulator, government and our customers to ensure safety was the first priority.
"We are focused on delivering the safe and efficient regeneration of air traffic to support the airlines in recovering their operations. This natural hazard, the scale of which has not been experienced in this region before, continues to threaten air travel and we continue to monitor volcanic activity data to try to minimise the effect on our airspace."
The May 2010 figures from Nats will also be depressed due to recent flight restrictions imposed by the continuing ash problem.
Changing winds and a new set of measures to allow more flights to operate in ash cloud conditions mean airline services have returned to normal.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
Hashima: Among the ruins on Japan's Battleship Island, the place that time forgot
Top 10 cheapest cities to visit, according to TripAdvisor
South Africa's new travel rules: From October, families with under-18s will need to show their birth certificates
The 50 Best weekend retreats
Harder, better, faster, longer: The best rollercoasters in the world
- 1 Al Pacino on suffering from depression: 'It can last and it's terrifying'
- 2 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 3 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain
£20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...
£15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...
£30 - 35k + Uncapped Comission (£70k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Business Develop...