Update on European Air Traffic situation - 10.30 CET

12 November 2010

As of 10.30 CET on 11 May 2010, EUROCONTROL has the following update to make with regard to the situation of air traffic in Europe:

Today EUROCONTROL expects approximately 29,000 flights within the European area which is close to normal for a Tuesday at this time of year.

Areas of high ash concentration are this morning impacting southern and central Spain and Portugal including the Canary Islands and Madeira. The areas of high ash concentration on high altitudes in the middle of the North Atlantic is dispersing, easing the previously difficult situation for Trans Atlantic flights.

At the current time airports on the Canary Islands, some in south-west Spain and some in Morocco are closed. According to the forecasts, during the afternoon, areas of higher ash concentration could move in a north-easterly direction cutting across the Iberian Iberian Peninsula and into south east France. These areas are of high altitude and are not expected to impact airports. The latest ‘Air Ash Concentration Charts’, valid at 14.00CET describing those areas where no-fly zone proposals have been made to the EUROCONTROL Member States are attached.

On Monday 10 May, there were 29,155 flights within the EUROCONTROL CFMU area, which is not far from normal traffic levels.

At the same time, ongoing work by the UK Met Office and the UK CAA has confirmed the effectiveness of the model used to determine the areas where ash concentration could be above engine tolerance levels. For that reason, as from noon today, the 60 nautical mile ‘Buffer Zone’ which was initially added to the proposed no-fly zone will be omitted. Work will continue between aircraft operators, Service Providers, the London Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre to refine the model used for predicting ash dispersion.