New guidance clears the way to fly through ash cloud

Monday 17, May 2010


New guidance clears the way to fly through ash cloud


NATS is delighted that restrictions on UK airspace can today be eased, thanks to new measures from the Civil Aviation Authority.




Aircraft can now safely fly through ‘medium density’ ash following the introduction of a new zone that defines the concentration of the ash cloud.


“NATS has been at the heart of this ground-breaking proposal and our people have worked very closely with the Irish Aviation Authority, CAA and the rest of the industry to make it happen,” said NATS Chief Executive Officer, Richard Deakin.


“Every leading player in aviation has been helping to build vast amounts of data about the effects of volcanic ash over the last month. There is mounting evidence that aircraft can fly safely through areas of medium density, provided some additional precautions are taken. This is now what has been agreed.”


Richard added that teams at NATS had been working all hours to create new and enhanced procedures to make sure the changes can take place as safely and as effectively as possible. 

Previously, the CAA has dealt with the ash cloud by applying No-Fly Zones (NFZ) in areas of greatest ash density, and Enhanced Procedures Zones (EPZ) in areas of low density, which were introduced during the six-day crisis last month. 

Today’s breakthrough means a third Time Limited Zone (TLZ) is now being introduced for areas of medium ash density.  

As a result of this change, there are no predicted restrictions on UK airspace in the immediate future.





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