Page last updated at 07:45 GMT, Monday, 17 May 2010 08:45 UK
New rules to aid ash flight chaos



Passengers wait for planes

Ash from an Icelandic volcano has disrupted flights across the UK and into Europe. We will be following events throughout the day, and you can contact us using e-mail, text or Twitter links on the right.

1755 As UK airspace gets back to normality, we are stopping updates to this page. For the latest developments, please go to our main news page.

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1732 Rohan from New York, USA, writes: In New York. Am I the only person hoping for ash so I don't have to go back to the office?

1708 Nats director Ian Hall insists the decision by authorities to close the UK airspace earlier was justified: "The UK and Ireland have been absolutely in the firing line of this volcano."

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1655 Gaynor Carlton from Pitlochry, Scotland writes: I arrived at Newark, NJ to find all flights to UK cancelled and had to re-book for first available next Friday to Edinburgh. Why weren't we informed by Continental?

1650 Nats extends its all-clear from 1900 to 0100 Tuesday for all airports in the UK. Some restrictions might remain for helicopters in the North Sea area though.

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1642 aejes tweets: Between the BA strikes and the ash volcano problems, I think my chances of having a smooth flight are practically nil.

1637 Ryanair's chief executive Michael O'Leary is critical of the ash forecasting maps, saying: "The fact that Heathrow and Gatwick airports have reopened... despite the fact that the charts shows this imaginary black plume (or no-fly zone) directly over these major London airports, shows that the charts have no credibility," the Press Association reports.

1629 Iceland's international airport Keflavik, outside Reykjavik, reports cancellations of arrivals and departures for the rest of Monday and into Tuesday.

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1605 Barbara Ellis from Pasadena, USA, writes: This is the second time the ash cloud has ruined my plans to get back to my home in the US from Heathrow. My husband and I were due to fly back this morning; he was booked with BA and I was on United. Last night United cancelled all their Monday flights while BA kept their cool, meaning that his plane left Heathrow at noon today after only half an hour's delay, and I'm stuck in Cambridge waiting for my rescheduled flight on Wednesday.

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1601 aobregon tweets: On the way to Liverpool by train then Isle of Man by boat!

1534 The Irish Aviation Authority says it does not expect to impose any restrictions for at least the next 48 hours, as the ash moves east from its airspace.

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1530 Donald Hughes from Edinburgh, UK writes: Just got married on Saturday and looked forward to leaving on honeymoon today. Plans are now completely disrupted, we were due to be in Vegas today followed by a flight to Hawaii on Saturday. Continental have rebooked us for a flight on Friday, which now gives us a grand total of seven hours in Vegas. Hotel booked is non-refundable and our travel insurance company is being awkward. Just glad we'll be getting away but disappointed our honeymoon's cut short and it's looking like we're going to be hit in the pocket as well.

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1520 Sue Williamson from Petersfield writes: My husband and I went to Corsica for a family wedding in April. We planned on staying for a week and only took hand luggage. Sixteen days later we got home! This morning we were due to fly with EasyJet to Spain from Gatwick. We checked on the EasyJet website at 0200 before we left for the airport and it confirmed that all flights were still scheduled. However, when we got there our flight and lots of others were cancelled so it was back home again. We are beginning to feel that booking flights to go on holiday isn't worth the risk.

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1518 TejP tweets: Stuck in NYC. Hopefully flight this evening goes ahead.

1430 Restrictions have been lifted in Northern Ireland's airspace.

1400 A missing man's relatives, who were flying to the UK from New Zealand to assist with his search, have been stranded in the US. John Sleigh, 36, of Battersea, south-west London, disappeared after a night out on 9 May. His brother and sister set off for Heathrow from Auckland via Los Angeles on Sunday. But the pair have been unable to complete their journey. Anyone with information about Mr Sleigh is asked to call Wandsworth Police on 0208 247 8893.

1338 Nats confirms the no-fly zone between 1300 and 1900 will remain in place only in Orkney and Shetland.

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1320 Gillian Ni Cheallaigh from London, UK, writes: My family are due to fly in to London from Dublin, for my wedding tomorrow - then we're all supposed to be going to France for a wedding party on Saturday - the ash cloud threatens both those events... and then the BA strike threatens my honeymoon! I'm an anxious bride-to-be.

1309 The Netherlands re-opened its airspace at noon after a seven-hour shutdown. Amsterdam's Schiphol and Rotterdam airports are resuming flights.

1258 Dublin airport has resumed flights. Nats, the air traffic control authority, says the lifting of the no-fly zone at all English and Welsh airports is valid from 1300 to 1900.

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1220 Simon Senior from Huddersfield, UK, writes: My son has been to New Zealand for six months and was due to arrive at Heathrow this morning at 11. All the family have gathered for a welcome home party but he is stuck in Los Angeles. He have been moved to a hotel but given no date or time when they might fly.

1218 At Heathrow, 169 out of 1,300 flights have been cancelled, while at Gatwick more than 100 were cancelled.

1214 The BBC's Mark Simpson in Belfast says it's a confusing situation for passengers - Belfast City airport remains closed, but less than 20 miles away Belfast International is expected to resume flights at 1300.

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1207 NeilAlderney tweets: Failed to get to Alderney today - even the little prop planes are being stopped getting to Soton airport. Why?

1205 Only four UK airports will remain shut after 1300: Belfast City, Londonderry, Shetland and Orkney. However, airlines have warned of delays throughout the day as flight schedules gets back to normal.

1152 One woman waiting at Belfast airport tells the BBC: "[There's] nothing we can do about it. We just have to accept it, there's no-one you can blame, it's nature, and thousands of people are affected just like we are."

1145 BA chief executive Willie Walsh calls the airspace restrictions a "gross over-reaction". The company is due at the High Court later to try to stop strikes by cabin staff, with the first five-day walkout due to start in less than 24 hours.

1137 With the all-clear given to all Scottish airports, except Shetland, flights from Edinburgh airport will resume at 1300.

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1132 Matt Pope from Guildford, UK, writes: This is now the third time the ash has disrupted my travel plans. The first occasion I was stuck in North Carolina for six days. Last weekend the EasyJet flight from Prague to Gatwick was cancelled due to aircraft positioning problems after ash in central Europe. This was after we ran the marathon and I missed my flight to Singapore the next day causing expensive rescheduling. Now I am sat at Heathrow awaiting for a flight to NY. Will this ever end?

1129 The no-fly zone remains in place in Northern Ireland and the Shetland Isles.

1120 Bristol airport re-opens.

1115 Flight restrictions at Heathrow and Gatwick airports are lifted, air control authority Nats announces.

1112 In Belfast, the BBC's Mark Simpson says it has been very frustrating for some passengers who have been waiting 36 hours for their flights. People were crossing their fingers in hope that an update within the hour will allow airspace to reopen.

1107 The BBC's James Cook reports from Edinburgh airport that in the past half hour check-in desks have reopened in the hope that planes might be able to take off from 1300.

1102 The Met Office explains how its ash forecasting has been working accurately so far.

1048 Airline KLM says passengers who were in flight when the ash cloud disrupted Dutch airspace will be transferred by bus back to Amsterdam. Their planes were diverted to Paris, Dusseldorf, Maastricht and Frankfurt.

1033 Kaled10 tweets: Flight cancelled - at least one more day in the highlands.

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1025 Tim Turner from Bath, UK, writes: I am currently in Los Angeles, my 1630 flight having been cancelled just as it was readying for take off. My suitcase is still in the hold of the 747, I am getting by with only hand luggage. We are being told in eight hours whether we fly or not. I hope we do as my bottle of Californian wine will be getting warm on the jumbo!

1020 More trains are being scheduled, with Virgin Trains saying 7,000 extra seats would be made available on Monday, mainly on routes between Birmingham and Glasgow and Edinburgh, and between London Euston and Glasgow. Eurostar is also laying on extra services across the Channel.

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1014 Kevin Tole from Plymouth, UK, writes: Two weeks ago I had a heart attack at my workplace in Noyabrsk, Western Siberia. I was medevac'd by air ambulance to Berlin where I have been under observation and recuperation. Today I get to go home - hopefully. As you can imagine, I don't need the stress.

1010 Air traffic authority Nats is expecting to give an update on flights at noon BST, but passengers are urged to contact their airlines as, even if the restrictions are lifted, there could still be a backlog of flights.

0957 Flights in and out of Dublin, in the Irish Republic, are grounded until at least noon.

0936 Joev3 tweets: Stuck in Florence. Ash cloud. Hope to get home tomorrow. There are worse places to be stuck.

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0928 Brian Hill from Southampton, UK, writes: I'm now stuck in Rotterdam. Woke up this morning to find that Amsterdam Schiphol is closed. My flight isn't cancelled yet as it's not till 1555 BST, but I'm not looking forward to a night in the airport!

0918 The ash is spreading further than the UK, with airports in the Dutch cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam closed until at least 1400 BST.

0911 The no-fly zone includes all airports in Northern Ireland, plus the Isle of Man, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness, northern Scotland, Cardiff, Swansea, Bristol and Farnborough.

0906 Gatwick airport is expected to be closed until 1300 for arrivals, with departures still restricted. At Heathrow, departures are limited to 30 an hour.

0855 Passengers and airlines will be hoping it is not a repeat of the cancellations and lengthy delays worldwide caused by ash from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in April.

0845Good morning and welcome to the live event page as ash from an Icelandic volcanic disrupts flights across the UK. Many airports are closed as the cloud moves across the country. Check here for news and updates as the situation changes throughout the day.



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