Volcanic Disruption Continues

Over 250 flights have been cancelled due to drifting ash from Saturday’s volcanic eruption in Iceland.
The aftermath of the Grímsvötn eruption has disrupted flights over Scotland and the north of England. Airports, including Glasgow, Edinburgh and Newcastle, are expecting to be affected until 1900 BST.
At least eight airlines have announced flight cancellations as the UK’s Met Office believes that the ash will spread over most of the UK by the end of the day. Changing wind patterns are making it hard to predict the future movements of the ash cloud.
The British Government’s Transport Secretary Philip Hammond claims that “disruption later in the week is likely to be limited” and believes that the northernmost Scottish airports will be clear by the afternoon of Wednesday May 25, 2011.
However, Irish airline Ryanair has conducted a test flight over Scotland and suggested that the ash should not affect travelling.
Ryanair’s Chief Executive Michael O’Leary claims: “We’ve got written confirmation from the engine and airframe manufacturers that we’re safe to fly even within these red zones.”
Mr O’Leary blames the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Met Office for their “bureaucratic incompetence” in dealing with the situation.
The CAA claims that Ryanair did not enter a red zone during its test flight.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is “encouraged” by the actions of European authorities thus far in managing the airspace.
However, IATA’s Director General and CEO Giovanni Bisignani has said: “Safety is always our top priority and without any compromise. Grímsvötn is a dramatic reminder of the disappointing lack of progress at the political level on the Single European Sky.”
The UK’s National Air Traffic Services (NATS), that controls all UK airspace, says it will provide further updates on the volcanic ash at 2100 BST today.