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VOLCANO FLIGHT CHAOS
New EU rules open Sweden's airspace

New EU rules open Sweden's airspace

Published: 23 Apr 2010 07:06 GMT+02:00
Updated: 23 Apr 2010 07:06 GMT+02:00

Flights are now permitted across the whole of Sweden, with new rules in place for flights in the EU-wide risk zone two. This means that Stockholm-Arlanda, Bromma and Malmö remained open overnight.

The latest reports from Iceland indicate that the volcano remains stable.

"The new rules mean that all of Sweden's airspace is now open to certificated airlines," said Susanne Rundström, at airport operator Swedavia.

Arlanda and Bromma airports in Stockholm, Landvetter and Säve in Gothenburg, Örnsköldsvik, Skellefteå, Sundsvall, Härnösand, Västerås, Umeå, Borlänge are all within the risk zones two or three, established after a meeting of EU transport ministers last Tuesday to harmonize EU skies.

This mean that all airspace in Sweden is served by airlines with the correct permits.

The Swedish Transport Agency (Transportstyrelsen) has decided to amend recommendations to enable more flights to take place - even through the ash cloud. The three zones are now incorporated into Swedish airspace, to replace the previous two.

Furthermore flights will be allowed even in locations classified within zone two, where some ash is present, making it possible to fly in a much larger part of the sky.

The Swedish rules are adapted to the EU, where zone one means a total flight ban, zone two has some flight restrictions and zone three is ash-free. In order to fly in zone two airlines must now hold a special licence, flight must be time limited, and additional checks of engines and windows must be undertaken.

The Eyjafjallajökull volcano in southern Iceland remained stable on Thursday, although the eruption remains ongoing, according to the Icelandic authorities.

"The plume of ash remains low and the quakes have not increased," said a spokesperson for the Icelandic rescue service.

On Wednesday, seismologists said that the plume had declined to "negligible" levels, but volcanic ash forced the Icelanders to close Reykjavik airport on Thursday, for the first time since the eruption began last week.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:45 April 23, 2010 by MTTRN
It was about time. Given that all of this was nonesense and it should have not lasted that long. I`m thinking if I can see the planes in the sky I should be able to see those massive black-grey-brown whatever clouds that make flying impossible.Infact we have had nothing but clear bright skyes over London since the volcano errrupted.If this volcano dust was so thicker than normal clouds why does it not fall to the ground. Clearly not because of the wind is blwoing it in different directions ,in that case we would have had all kinds of clouds in the sky(people in London can confirm we`ve had the best weather in years over this last week). Noone knew when the "cloud" was going to disaapear,there were no forecasts whatsorever it just happened in a day.
11:05 April 23, 2010 by Twiceshy
MTTRN tell that to the Finnish Air Force, NATO and the Thomas Cook pilot who reported smell of ash, engine fault and thus aborted a flight from the UK.

All of those had trouble due to ash, so no, it's not nonsense.
11:22 April 23, 2010 by MTTRN
I am not saying it was safe to fly over the volcano right after it errupted but to me the whole thing was blown out of proprtion. There are missing pieces, everyone was kept in the dark as to when normal services would be resumed(in this day and age that should not be too hard to predict). A lot of things don`t add up such as grounding all planes in Europe for a week because it smells of ash,perfectly clear skies over some of the no-fly zones etc.
12:33 April 23, 2010 by Harlemite
As someone scheduled to fly on Sunday, I say better safe than sorry. I'm VERY pleased Sweden is being as precautious as they are. My hat goes off to them for that.
13:34 April 23, 2010 by Audrian
Twiceshy has a point.

Airlines have been loosing at rate of about $300 million per day. If they do not fly for three weeks several of them might be forced to declare bankruptcy. This was probably why they were putting pressure on scientists to say it is safe to fly. Do not forget cigarette companies were bribing scientists to falsify information for over thirty years.

Scientists from Iceland have discouraged flying given the volcano continues to spout ashes into the air. I think planes should be grounded until the sky is completely clear to prevent a disaster. The lure in economic activates might, after all, show us that we can live with a little less.
15:24 April 23, 2010 by Twiceshy
MTTRN those Finnish figher jets were flying in Northern Finland when their engines got damaged by the ash. Not near the volcano

Have you seen the pictures they released? The inside of the engine didn't look pretty at all.
16:05 April 23, 2010 by MTTRN
The finnish fighters were damaged on the 15th April one day after the volcano errupted and more than one week ago.
20:43 April 23, 2010 by Purisai
Are u sure the Finnish planes got screwed because of the ash and weren't screwed up from before? Are there any before pictures? Just curious.
21:01 April 23, 2010 by Twiceshy
The first really well-known incident of this type resulted in a Singapore Airlines 747 having an in-flight emergency after flying through an ash cloud *nineteen days* after the initial eruption. If you study flight safety and/or turbine engines, this was definitely *not* an overreaction. More details here:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Airways_Flight_9#Aftermath
21:36 April 23, 2010 by Purisai
@twiceshy

It surely was a chilling description and an eye opener. Thanks.
03:38 April 24, 2010 by Davey-jo
If your swedish planes drop on my head I will sue. I'm litigious believe me.
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