Ash cloud reduced April air traffic by more than 20 per cent
Saturday 22, May 2010
The six-day restriction of UK controlled airspace caused by the Icelandic volcanic eruption contributed to a 21.2% reduction in the number of flights managed by NATS in April, compared with the previous year.
Last month there were 141, 956 flights in UK controlled airspace, compared to 180, 166 in April 2009: a reduction of 38,210 flights.
The decrease reflects the action taken to restrict flight clearances between Wednesday April 15th and Monday April 20th, which affected all domestic, international and overflight services.
NATS Operations Strategy and Standards Director Ian Hall 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.”
All NATS markets, centres and airports posted a reduction in traffic for April, which can be seen on the table below.
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