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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Damned Vikings

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

(Angy eruption!)

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Anonymous Coward

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

Wrong country.

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

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

Yipes!

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Megaphone

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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..

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VAAC

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

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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.

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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 :-)

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Anonymous Coward

vaac

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

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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..

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Anonymous Coward

The only decent news on TV

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

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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

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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.

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Happy

Eyjafjallashakeandvacjokullllocoguacamoli

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

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He is on the TV though

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

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Joke

Eyjafjallajoküll

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

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

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On the plus side

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

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Anonymous Coward

Aye!

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

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Manifesto

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

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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.

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Anonymous Coward

suprised

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

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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?

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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..

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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?

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Anonymous Coward

Nice pun

on "pax"

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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@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.

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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.

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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?

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@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.

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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.

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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?)

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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!

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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.

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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.

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Badgers

Errrr..

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

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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?

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