back to article Icelandic ash cloud to keep UK skies closed 'til Saturday

UK air-traffic authorities have confirmed that flights will remain grounded until at least the early hours of Saturday morning as dangerous ash clouds from an Icelandic volcano continue to blanket the nation. Volcanic ash graphic 16 April 2010. Credit: London VAAC Pesky volcano. The National Air Traffic Service (NATS), …

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  1. Hermes Conran
    Flame

    Damned Vikings

    First they took our women, then our money. Now we can't even go on holiday!

    (Angy eruption!)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

      Wrong country.

  2. SuperTim

    "Nobody's getting in or out without a boat for a bit"

    What???? They have shut the channel tunnel?????

    Yipes!

    1. Marvin the Martian
      Megaphone

      Shhh.... Don't tell those island dwellers.

      They haven't been an island for a while, but have failed to notice.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    Dear Government

    This is god calling - I don't like your peado-scanners, please remove them, until then, I'm blocking your air travel.

    Don't even think about fitting them at docks or I'll turn off the gulf stream and freeze over the channel.

    That is all.

  4. nigel 15
    WTF?

    London Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre

    There's a London Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre??

    Can you imagine what it's like in there at the moment? Maybe they're like the coast guard or something and have normal jobs the rest of the time because i can't imagine they've been very busy over the last few years.

    i wonder what they were doing when the volcano went off.

    1. Stef 4
      Welcome

      "i wonder what they were doing when the volcano went off."

      ... probably using their mole-machines to burrow into the Earth's molten core to release a large amount of magma, just for something to do.

      I for one welcome our new Vulcanian overlords.

    2. Anonymous John

      re VAAC

      I had the same thought. I imagined them entering a cobwebby office, booting up the IBM 5150 PCs, and starting work.

      There's more about it here.

      http://metoffice.com/aviation/vaac/index.html

    3. Fred Flintstone Gold badge
      Big Brother

      Well, duh

      "i wonder what they were doing when the volcano went off"

      Monitoring Gordon Brown, of course. There is otherwise not that much volcanic activity in the UK..

  5. Liam Johnson

    VAAC

    What do they do for the rest of the decade when the ash cloud has gone???

    1. TeeCee Gold badge
      Alert

      Re: VAAC

      Ah, optimism, I like that.

      Note that it has been reported that when this one last erupted in December 1821, it kept on going until January 1823. What has not been mentioned is that in the previous century it erupted for five years*, poisoning the atmosphere and surrounding sea to the extent that they seriously considered evacuating the country.

      IANAV**, but that would seem to suggest that there's quite likely to be a cloud of crap like this circulating on and off for some time to come. Just out of interest, what is the economic impact of large swathes of Western and Central Europe possibly being a no-fly zone (or at least a no take off or land zone) at unpredictable intervals of unpredictable duration for the next 12 months plus?

      *Incidently, look up the megatonnage of CO2 that five year outburst chucked into the jolly old atmos. Makes yer AGW treaty targets look like pissing into the wind.

      **I am not a Vulcanologist.

      1. Red Bren
        Coat

        CO2 figures

        "look up the megatonnage of CO2 that five year outburst chucked into the jolly old atmos."

        The warming caused by that extra CO2 precisely offset the cooling caused by shed loads o' dust the volcano kicked up.*

        *I am also not a vulcanologist, just a commentard :-)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      vaac

      well, I suppose it takes them a while to VACCuum up all that ash.

    3. Fred Flintstone Gold badge
      Boffin

      It may get worse..

      Apparently, the last couple of times this unpronounceable thing blew it was followed by the much bigger volcano right next to it erupting as well. If that one blows (sorry, Star Trek flashback) the current problems will look minute..

  6. An nonymous Cowerd
    Coat

    Using an 1090MHz SSR ADS-B radar receiver

    (which is networked) I was able to see a single flight from Scotland today; the overall number of flights is down from around 960 General Aviation in the air over Europe at any particular second , to around 300 at present. There is little flight activity until you get down to the Alps.

    Below the Alps the traffic is running at 25% of normal volume, based on direct reception of the aircraft L-band squawk codes.

    1. Michael Brown
      Coat

      RadarVirtuel.com

      http://www.radarvirtuel.com/

      ...appears to be down or wilting under the weight of (internet) traffic. Normally it's a cool site which displays info from networked radar receivers so you can watch all the planes flying over Europe in pretty much real time.

  7. Anonymous Bastard
    Flame

    Flame icon should be obvious

    I have yet to hear anyone pronounce "Eyjafjallajokull" on British television or radio. How I wish Newswipe were still on, Charlie Brooker would surely give it a go.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The only decent news on TV

      Jon Snow, Channel 4 News, last night. Doesn't sound as bad as it looks.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      BBC Pronunciation Unit

      BBC Pronunciation Unit is almost always there ready:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/magazinemonitor/2010/04/how_to_say_eyjafjallajoekull.shtml

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Coat

      Breakfast TV

      This morning on BBC Breakfast TV, Susanna Reid attempted to pronounce "Eyjafjallajokull" but I don't know whether she was successful - as I was too busying "watching" her ! Ahem ! Mine's the one with the packets of tissues in the pockets.

    4. Your Handle, my Handle, it's all good
      Happy

      Eyjafjallashakeandvacjokullllocoguacamoli

      I have to be honest, the first time I say it I thought someone had fallen on their keyboard,

    5. Ed Blackshaw Silver badge

      He is on the TV though

      Making 'You Have Been Watching' at the moment, IIRC

    6. Bernd Felsche
      Joke

      Eyjafjallajoküll

      Maybe they can fly in somebody from Iceland to read the news.

      It's pronounced "Island-mountain-glacier" in English. :-)

  8. Les Matthew
    Thumb Up

    On the plus side

    It's nice and quiet here with nothing flying overhead as it comes into land at Heathrow.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Aye!

      Its great isn't it? Wouldn't mind it continuing for a few months!!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Flame

        Manifesto

        My election manifesto - a No-Fly day once a week and ban cars from our cities.

      2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge
        Joke

        Yes ...

        ... that's the British way - live on a flightpath then bitch about the noise. My manifesto - send anyone that complains about modern technology, which makes the world a significantly better place, to Outer Mongolia (though the residents there would legitimately start complaining).

        Seriously, I know I'm a sad git, but I love the sound of planes, and the sight of contrails - they are a daily celebration of human ingenuity (yes, I live near an airport, as I've reported here before). I go to airshows as often as I can, and prefer the sound of heavy metal* to piston engines. I would, though, be very unhappy if I lived near a pub which played music.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    suprised

    Suprised we havn't declared them terrorists again and bombed the volcano.

    1. scottboy

      Re: suprised

      Let's keep the US Apache pilots away from there. They might think a good solution to the clouds of ash coming from a volcanic eruption is to add some high explosive into the equation. That would sort the problem out, wouldn't it?

  10. Pete 2 Silver badge

    The peace! The quiet!

    While I sympathise with the pax who want to get somewhere, but can't - there is a silver lining to this volcanic cloud. One that benefits far more people than the numbers stranded at british airports. I'm talking about the lack of aircraft noise.

    In the part of purgatory known as west London (and repeated at other places of redemption throughout the country) it's not unusual to be woken at about 5:30 when the first flight tears through the sky. After the first plane, they seem to come over every few minutes, leaving those of us who like to sleep with the window ajar cursing all these early birds. Repeat all day until some time around 11p.m. and you get the picture.

    We had a similar respite during September a few years ago - maybe you remember that one, too?

    Anyway, I'm planning on enjoying the, almost rural, quiet while it lasts and seriously wondering what the effect of increased runway numbers and flight numbers will bring to this already blighted part of blighty..

    1. TeeCee Gold badge
      Grenade

      Yeah, right.

      No doubt you were seriously outraged when they unexpectedly decided that Heathrow was to be converted from a sleepy RAF base into London's major International airport after you'd moved into the peaceful surroundings.

      Oh.......wait........it was already there you say? If you find it so annoying, why the f*** did you move in next to it then?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nice pun

      on "pax"

      1. Annihilator Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        re: Yeah, right

        Abso-bloody-lutely. About the only people in Britain able to complain they didn't realise there was an airport there a people who bought a house in North Woolwich in the early 80's before City Airport existed.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Up

          re: Yeah, right

          Also agree!

          If you moved into an area, and didn't realise there was an Airport there? What were you thinking!

          I would like to add, I live under Heathrow's flight path myself, and, not being a retard, I knew that flight levels will increase and airports will expand - just like any other business - when I purchased the property.

      2. Pete 2 Silver badge

        No choice

        Since I was born in W. London and have lived and worked there my whole life, so far. I didn't really have a lot of choice. As don't the millions of other people who have to live near airports all over the country (hint: no one, except maybe a few plane spotters choose to live near an airport).We do it either from necessity, lack of other options, for economic reasons or because a whim of bureaucratic randomness draws a flightpath on a map, where there hadn't been one before.

        However, the real point is that when it stops this is actually a very pleasant part of the country - you just don't realise it until you get a brief respite from the otherwise incessant noise pollution.

      3. Trygve
        FAIL

        If you don't know what the f*** your're talking about, why don't you shut the f*** up?

        I live an hour away from Heathrow, in lovely sunny south london, and when I'm in the garden I frequently have to raise my voice over the noise of some jet lumbering overhead. I don't consider SW16 the 'surroundings' of Heathrow, nor would any sane human being.

        That rancid cesspool of a so-called airport is not only an absolute nightmare to travel through, it messes up the peace and quiet of over 2 million people. Worse than that, if you want to get away from the flight paths of Gatwick, Heathrow, City, Stanstead and Luton you practically have to move to Wales.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          FAIL

          So..

          So where do you propose we move Londons airports to then eh?

          Big city, large population ergo large and numerous airports.

          Don't like it? Move.

          1. Pete 2 Silver badge

            So .... where do you propose we move Londons airports to then?

            Well the blindingly, ludicrously obvious answer (which I'm surprised you didn't think of) is to locate the airport(s) somewhere where the flightpaths can be routed where there are no people. When you consider that Britain is an island the answer presents itself.

            For 40-odd years there's been talk of locating an airport to the coast. That way all the planes in and out can fly low over the sea. Latterly Boris has been talking about an airport on the Thames estuary. We built and gave away an airport in Hong Kong that was built on an island - including all the transport access to go with it. If we can do it for the chinese, it should be possible to do it for the people who actually pay for it.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Thumb Down

              Good idea...

              Lets move:

              Manchester (MAN), Birmingham (BHX), Doncaster-Sheff (DSA), Leeds-Bradford (LBA), East Midlands (EMA) and Heathrow (LHR) etc...

              all to the coast then.

              I'm sure everyone just wouldn't mind travelling across the width of the country to the nearest coastal airport before undertaking an even longer voyage overseas. And what with the increase in Traffic congestion and noise this would cause, it would kind-of defeat the object wouldn't it.

              Find me an unpopulated area around Birmingham where we can route all flight paths around large populous' of people and I might actually take your idea seriously.

  11. Dan 55 Silver badge

    @London Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre

    I'm imagining a dusty office buried in some university building where two old professors who are just round the corner from retirement spend the day with the crossword and pots of tea and occasionally (once every few months) an old teletype machine splutters into life. The only reason it's still got funding is because nobody is in government is aware of it.

  12. nigel 15
    Pint

    More on London VAAC

    LVAAC seem to be doing a bang up job, they issue some nice graphics. the next one along, Toulouse, only issue pesky words.

    i'm not sure who has the hardest job. London only has to cover iceland and the UK, Toulouse covers Europe, Africa, Middle East and Russia. But then the volcano is in iceland.

  13. Mike Hunt 1
    FAIL

    On the plus side (again)

    At least with this going on, there aren't all these planes spewing hot gases into the atmostphere, causing global warming........no, just a fecking big volcano........quick you greenhouse gas protester types, get up to Iceland (by plane if you like) and go picket the volcano......Just wondering now how the government are going to tax me for this one?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      @Mike Hunt 1

      1. the planes will be spewing gasses into the atmosphere - they've got all those extra flights to catch up.

      2. The particles that are creating the problem for aircraft will fall to earth in rainfall and have FI_ICK all to do with greenhouse gases. If enough gases are spewed out it may have a minimal effect on the effects of global warming - but you aren't the first person that is ignorant of the level of scientific consensus on this topic to demonstrate their gullibility in the past day or so.

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge
        WTF?

        @AC

        Are you really suggesting that aircraft put up more greenhouse gasses than volcanoes?? Presumably you are also going to suggest that it isn't putting up enough particulates to make any difference? Alternatively, and more likely, you are not going to come back because after trolling as an AC you feel big and clever.

  14. Ashley 2
    Flame

    Conspiracy!

    Is this Iceland's response to the UK government's demands to repay their bank debts?

    I smell a conspiracy... they must have got hold of some of that lost Russian fissile material and blown up the Volcano on purpose.

    And all over a few frozen prawns... (or am I confusing them with Kwiksave?)

    1. Johann 1
      Happy

      Dear Ashley 2

      Conspiracy? Not at all!

      We're just complying with your demands for CASH, but since there's no C in the Icelandic alphabet, ASH is what you get.

      Can't see why you'd be complaining, after all, we've given you 75% of what you asked for already!

  15. Pavlovs well trained dog

    shame you poor English

    First the Icelandic's take all your money, now they take all your travel options

    /off to listen to some Bjork.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Good.

    I hope it lasts for months.

    It'll give the sleepwalking general public a little taste of the Armageddon that their stupid, fat, x-factor, celebrity obsessed indifference to the real world is inevitably leading us to.

    Disclaimer: This opinion may be related to nicotine deprivation.

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge
      Badgers

      Errrr..

      ... I honestly don't know whether to give an upvote or a downvote to this one!!!

  17. Joe Montana
    Megaphone

    Iceland has a lot to answer for...

    First they go bankrupt and take loads of our money with them, now they close all our airports! What next from the icelandic terrorists?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Living as I do within earshot of the Heathrow approaches

    last night was another of those odd times where you only notice the impact of noise in modern life by its absence. Between that and the cooling effect of the added sulphur and dust in the atmosphere allied to reduced emissions from aicraft, just watch the usual loons jump about insisting that more volcanos are just what we need

    1. Tim #3

      OK

      What we need are more volcanoes.

  19. chr0m4t1c
    Alien

    But how

    Are we going to nuke the site from orbit if we can't take off?

    Anyone know of another way to be safe?

  20. The Indomitable Gall

    VAACs

    According to the Met Office, there are only 7 VAACs worldwide. London VAAC is operated by the Met Office, naturally, as they are the guys with the wind modelling tech. It is the control centre for the zone including Iceland, and it is in charge of some of the busiest airspace in the world (most transatlantic travel whether by sea or air tracks away from the equator to take advantage of the reduced circumference of the Earth). It may not be needed every day, but it's a massively important role.

    http://metoffice.com/aviation/vaac/index.html

    Have none of you commentards ever heard of Google?

    1. Anonymous John
      Happy

      Re VAACs

      "Have none of you commentards ever heard of Google?"

      Of course. But we prefer humorous postings. It just sounds funny.

  21. Steen Hive
    Joke

    Just Wait

    If you continue to piss Iceland off, they might bring in the big guns and have Katla erupt instead. Much easier to pronounce, and much deeper shit.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Is going to happen..

      .. if history is any guide. At the moment it doesn't exhibit any signs of an impending eruption, but that's because the unpronounceable is still at it. A bit like the US economic warfare against Switzerland: let's not talk about another bank until we've done one to death (and the Swiss fell for it, hahaha).

  22. Tim Jenkins

    Re: But How

    Use the current Space Shuttle mission to divert a passing comet and use it to plug the leak.

    Someone get my script agent on the phone...

    1. Bernd Felsche
      Grenade

      "Plugging" a volcano?

      Use a tactical nuke. You know; one of those "useless" battlefield weapons?

      There'll be a bigger bang in a shorter time, allowing a lot of pressure to vent but the area will collapse back in fairly quickly. The method's been theorised for longer than tac. nukes have been available.

      But you might want to consider evacuation prior to dropping the bomb.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down

        Re. plugging a volcano with a nuke.

        "you might want to consider evacuation prior to dropping the bomb"

        Umm, there is the little matter of radioactive fallout to contend with - if you screw up the next cloud will be easier to detect..

  23. Thomas 4
    Flame

    I know the culprit behind this

    I recently cancelled my EvE Online account in order to pay for a flight to Denmark. Damn you CCP! *shakes fist*

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Alien

      Dust 514

      CCP just released Dust514 early is all. As usual QA had one of their usual epic fails and the consequences are plain for all to see........

    2. Adam T
      FAIL

      Speaking of which...

      I was just in the Eve Online forums and spotted a thread on the volcano.

      It's pretty disheartening to see that all the players care about is the continued operation of the servers - absolutely no consideration for the staff or other people of Iceland. So don't anyone believe it when they're told "mature people" play Eve Online.

      The global press is no better. The only thing that's important is our own asses - i.e. flights and stocks of cheese. Nobody seems to give a shit about the Icelanders, unless it's at the butt of a joke.

  24. Steven Jones

    consolation

    Those stranded in airport terminal buildings can at least console themselves that those great big glass windows will give a wonderful view of a spectacular sunset this evening...

  25. Wommit
    Big Brother

    Am I the only one

    who finds it suspicious that Iceland has just finished their inquiry on the failure of their banks. And we now have vast plumes of smoke and ask coming from Iceland.

    Call me cynical if you like, but I think someone should look into this.

    1. Ken 16 Silver badge
      Grenade

      it's pure bad luck

      that the tape vaults for all Icelandic banks was built on the side of Eyjafjallajoekull

      grenade: because the Icelandic government have been lobbing them down the volcano for months!

  26. moonface
    Black Helicopters

    Low Flying Helicoptors

    Call me a bit cynical but should the skies be closed to all forms of air transport? Would be a bit pissed off myself, if I was stuck on some oil rig and losing out on my shore leave.

    BBC Helicopter footage of erupting volcano in Iceland

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8586442.stm

    I am no expert in aviation or volcanology but I would even have a bet that there would be more particles of ash in the air in the footage above, than could ever be encountered today, drifting at low alititude hundreds of miles away, over the North Sea.

    A conspiracy of ignorance but sadly without the black helicopters.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @moonface

      Particles entering jet engines melt and soldify during the latter stages of the engine, knackering it.

      These helicopter engines don't get hot enough.

      1. SkippyBing

        Helicopter engines

        Would be affected by the ash as well if only in terms of blade erosion, however you can put filters on their intakes without causing a drop in performance whereas on a fixed wing aircraft it's not possible. The hot bit still gets to 600 degree C minimum so it can still cause problems.

        The big difference for the helicopter filming the volcano is that all the ash etc. is in that big well concentrated cloud coming out of the hole in the ground making it nice and easy to avoid, by the time it gets here it's much more spread out and intermingled with the clouds. I do wonder if there's actually a problem in areas where the visibility is greater than say five KM as that'd imply the concentrations of dust aren't that great.

        1. Annihilator Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          re: filters

          "you can put filters on their intakes without causing a drop in performance"

          Until the filters clog up and restrict airflow.

          1. Marcelo Rodrigues
            Happy

            Not the filters we are used to

            "Filters" was not the best word. What is used is something like a bowler hat. A semi-circle put in the front of the engine.

            When it sucks the air in, the special format of the filter creates a vortex, wich sucks away the dust trough a small point.

            It can be overloaded, of course. But it doesn't clog up like the filters we are used to.

            Here, in wikipedia, we can find a mention on it (the "PZU air intake filters"):

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mil_Mi-24

    2. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Not closed for all aircraft

      Lower flying aircraft are allowed, helicopters, small planes and turboprops can fly as they stay under the altitude of the cloud.

  27. The First Dave
    Dead Vulture

    UK != England

    There have been (some) flights in and out of Glasgow/Prestwick this morning, and I believe Northern Ireland as well.

  28. Kwac
    WTF?

    May I express my sympathy

    for all those that bought a house near an airport.

    Surely someone should have mentioned somewhere along the line that planes take-off and land there?

  29. Peter Fox
    Alert

    Next winter will be bitterly cold

    On past form we can expect significant cooling of the northern hemisphere caused by the ash cloud.

    Next winter is going to be a great deal worse than the last one. I'm not a climate expert but I can tell that a few months of solid freeze will have a much larger economic impact than a few days of air travel restrictions. It will also seriously disrupt everybody, not just air-passengers.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    How about until Monday?

    I live near Standstead and it's been so quiet last day, perhaps a nice quiet weeked would be too much too ask?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      maybe then...

      ... you might take the time to learn to spell it

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Last time

    Last time this volcano erupted it was active for two years. This was many hundreds of years ago.

    One can only hope it will put planes out of the sky for two years :-) maybe then people will use less polluting methods of transport and the government will scrap a third runway at Heathrow.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Re: last time

      Tell me a faster way to get to the States and I won't frown at you so disapprovingly.

      In fact, maybe we should all "drive" to Italy rather than fly?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        There are alternatives..

        Concord could fly at 70k feet - above the ash, I believe - ooopps no more Concord.

        This event demonstrates nicely the adverse effects of 'eggs in one basket'. Fast Ships can traverse the Oceans. High Speed rail can move goods and people. (Ask PO if post can still be sorted on trains in Transit)

        However, we don't have a competitive & complete European High speed rail system nor fast ships or other volume alternatives. We didn't need to rely on planes but, sadly, now we do for too many things.

        Our political and economic masters have so decreed. TINA. A bit like banks, really.

        If business demands that all costs be minimised and that the systems become like highly tuned racehorses or cars don't be surprised if, occasionally, a "tits-up" moment occurs and things crash to a stop. Flexibility comes at a cost. JIT may become JTL.

        That being said it would, however, upset me if I was just about to go on/return from a holiday or other important trip by air. I'd probably live though.

    2. Glyn 2
      Happy

      Hee hee

      And my girlfriend will never return from new york

    3. Paul RND*1000
      FAIL

      And which...

      ...less polluting form of transport do you suggest I use to get from the US to the UK and back again this summer? Bearing in mind that I don't have an extra spare week to spend going by boat, and swimming is clearly out of the question.

      This sort of enviro-numpty idiocy is why the Green movement is not, and may never be, taken seriously by the people it needs to be taken seriously by.

      1. A J Stiles
        Alert

        I suggest .....

        A piece of fibre-optic cable. Or a microwave link to a satellite.

        Your sort will probably still be complaining that you can't buy filament light bulbs on the day the power stations shut down for want of fuel.

    4. Wheaty73
      Flame

      They will just build better engines.

      With both RR and Airbus having facilities affected by this, if it lasts longer than a week I imagine they will have designers locked up in rooms making plans for dust-proof engines, which they can then sell at a massive profit.

      Can't roll back time you know. We have moved on from the horse and cart already.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    Slice of Luck

    "All Eurostar cross-channel seats are reportedly sold out"

    I was in Paris on the day the ash cloud appeared and was due to fly back to good ol' Blighty. Supposedly, the next free seat on a Eurostar was Saturday. However, that was no problem for the nice SNCF lady in Charles de Gaulle; she gave me a ticket for a non-existent train and this confused the Eurostar staff enough to let me wait at the departure gate for one of those "extra" seats that become free at the last minute (usually people who don't turn up, but also those "seats" in the carriage ends which cannot be sold).

    The ticket may have cost me over £200, but I was back in the UK by 6pm.

    1. SirTainleyBarking
      Black Helicopters

      Had to take the train to Lille....

      from Gare Nord, and pick up the Eurostar from there. Extortionate, but after 12 hours of travelling I finally got home. The usual flight takes 2!

      I've had better days

  33. Senor Beavis
    Alert

    Ash, schmash

    What about the gigantic squirrel threatening UK and mainland Europe?

  34. Richard Porter

    Without a boat?

    I don't think the wrong kind of ash has closed the channel tunnel yet!

    1. SirTainleyBarking
      FAIL

      It hasn't

      The wrong type of snow however is something else....

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Volcano?

    It's been lovely and sunny here in Edinburgh for days. There's not a cloud in the sky, never mind any ash...

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    why..

    does the cloud ending up looking like a woman's shoe??

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    anyone listen to radio4 last night

    there was one lady who said she lived right next to a airport and was suffering unending noise pollution.....

    till yesterday!, she was positively quiveringly happy, utter silence, she took the reporter out the back of her garden and asked.."can you hear that?... to utter silence, "to what?" replied the reporter, "nothing" replied the unbelievably happy lady :D "i can hear the birds for the very first time ever! whilst living here :D))) "

    it was really funny

    i wonder how the airlines will spin this disaster....

    'Closing down sale..Everyone MUST GO'

    'special one way-one day only tickets, never to return (to europe)'

    'Ash-(Monday/insert particular day) specials'

    'having a particularly bad week, hop on a flight and be ASHurred of a smooth flight away...'

  38. Subs McNubs
    WTF?

    Sod the passengers, what about freight?

    It'll be interesting to see which food supplies become scarce on the shelves in UK supermarkets.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you hate it so much why live there etc

    My house has been put under a flight path in just the past 12 months (well not just my house - that would be really vindictive) it's not always that simple

    1. NightFox
      Thumb Down

      On the Move

      Didn't you ask what was happening when they started moving your house? I'm sorry, but that was your chance to stop this.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Seeing things in the clouds...

    Is it me, or does the cloud look a bit like a giant vulture (beak on the right, wings over Scandinavia?

    Is there something the Reg isn't telling us?

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Icelandic Vengeance!!

    Those cunning Icelanders... First they rename the volcano (it was probably something like "Bob" before this) and then they arrange for the volcano to erupt. Doubtless they are having a blast back home, having tied up both European airspace and tongues in one fell swoop!!

    1. K T
      Pint

      @Icelandic Vengeance!!

      "Eyjafjallajoekull" /is/ Icelandic for "Bob".

  42. Cliffodemus

    Aerospace closures

    Please be aware that all the closure advisories so far have been couched in the following terms:

    UK airspace will be closed/restricted until x:xx at the earliest etc.

    That is not an estimated time for all air traffic to resume, it's the earliest time that the ash cloud could dissipate if a miracle happened.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows

    consolation #

    Posted Friday 16th April 2010 11:04 GMT

    Those stranded in airport terminal buildings can at least console themselves that those great big glass windows will give a wonderful view of a spectacular sunset this evening...

    Except in BAA run airports where the big glass windows have been obscured my luxury goods shops, fast food joints etc ..

  44. Don 8
    Coat

    Ad campaign or cry for help?

    Looking at the red outline on the dispersal graphics I am undecided whether this is an ad campaign for London 2012 or a call for new shoes from Björk.

    I'll take the one with the ash on the shoulders please.

  45. Rogan Paneer

    My theory ...

    My theory is that this was actually part of Björk's next music video, but has somehow got totally out of control.

  46. Badbob
    Unhappy

    Bring back the airyplanes!

    If only so that I can get on with my job on the railway, without the constant stream of bloody Virgin Trains getting in my way. There has been a lot of extra traffic on my stretch of railway, so much so, that planned renewals jobs are being cancelled for Saturday night/Sunday morning. Presumably to allow trains to run later and earlier (West Coast Line is normally completely shut down on Sat night/Sun morn).

    Working on the railway would be much easier without trains.

    I am already preparing my excuses for Fault Control about it being the wrong type of ash. :-)

  47. Aron
    WTF?

    Another anti-scientific hysteria

    So we've got sunny, clear, cloudless skies and not a trace of this magically dangerous ash cloud anywhere to be seen and yet we've caused billions of pounds worth of damage to the economies relying on flights to and from London, including our own bankrupt economy!

    The state of science and the media these days is so bad it wants and sometimes causes everything to get shut down over baseless fears.

    Everything that could be hypothesised here about ash turning to glass inside turbines is nonsense. There simply isn't enough ash up there, the amount if not dense enough, it's not at the right altitude for most flights, and flights would only be affected for a fraction of their journey time. And I mean a very small fraction!

  48. gautam
    Paris Hilton

    Nuke it!

    Why cant we just NUke the volcano, so at best it will wi.den the mouth and all ash/lava will be scattered locally. Better still it might just seal it off. the small spout is making it worse currently.

    Remember we did this in Iraq in first gulf war to put out the fires.

    Paris, cos she still burns bright

  49. Aron
    Coffee/keyboard

    Exactly as predicted

    Though my previous post has not turned up, it went something like this "The media and Met Office are still doing the dirty work of the anti-flight arm of the green lobby. We haven’t seen a sign of this ash cloud over us. We’ve had three days of absolutely clear, blue, cloudless skies over northern Europe and no sign of any ash or dust. Yet the hysteria over something that could not effect airplanes continues and behind it all are the same organisations as ever."

    Now we have this:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8628034.stm

    I figured out how bad the flawed science was myself using a bit of logic. How come the Met Office and the media with their millions of pounds can't figure it out.

    Test flights show no problems...the threat has been exaggerated by the Met Office, computer models, regulators and the media

  50. Stuart Halliday
    Happy

    Smelly here

    I went to visit Kirkcaldy up from Edinburgh on Saturday and boy did it smell of rotten eggs.

    This eastern town of Scotland has most of its car parks on the coast so as I drove in and got out I was hit by a strong smell of Sulphur dioxide.

    The smell followed us as we walked into the town centre but thankfully once indoors it seemed to fade away. :-)

    Really brought the whole thing into perspective!

    No ash on cars though. Well I had to look didn't I?

  51. NightFox
    Thumb Down

    Independence

    I'm sick of this country's reliance on other countries. Why can't we have our own volcano? UKIP would get my vote if they took this on.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Don't get your hopes up

    From the look of the jet stream:

    http://www.metcheck.com/V40/UK/FREE/jetstream.asp

    Things probably won't change much before the coming weekend. Maybe not even then.

  53. Frantisek Janak
    Thumb Up

    My title here

    Haha...I'm glad I'm heading to London by bus this coming Wednesday...one nil for us saving money!

  54. VulcanV5

    @ Aron "I solved it all myself"

    Hi Aron.

    Of course it's true, anyone with not the slightest knowledge of how aircraft engines work can solve this current difficulty "using a bit of logic".

    That everyone from the engine manufacturers themselves through to every regulatory and aviation services agency is flatly refusing to do so is because they all want European airports to lose £millions in usage rights and airlines already on the verge of going bust to now do exactly that.

    Every European Government is also very much in favour of this as the more businesses and the more jobs that are lost, the lower the tax take will be and the higher the unemplopyment benefits total.

    Even NATS itself, which -- as you, with your "little bit of logic" will know full well -- is financed thanks to fully operational airline traffic, has decided to eschew logic and let its coffers run dry.

    For the first time ever, UK and Western European airspace has been affected by a volcano that is venting through a glacier. It's a Doomsday scenario that not even the aviation industry itself foresaw.

    However, all of us involved in this current problem are most grateful to you for announcing that the exercise of a bit of your own logic brings an immediate resolution of the problem.

    I very much look forward to reading on here precisely which bit of that logic you're referring to -- seeing as how it is only "a bit", you will presumably have no problem at all in explaining it in a couple of sentences.

    Thank you again then, Aron, for your valued assistance.

    Your post has certainly convinced me that instead of continuing to work with aviation industry OEMs on this issue, I should recognise that you alone are the Whitney, and everyone else is a complete Pratt.

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