When a volcano erupts, it has the ability disrupt life everywhere, especially for those traveling by plane. On Saturday Iceland’s Grimsvotn erupted, sending lava and ash soaring into the air. The result for air traffic was delays, cancelations, and concerns from air traffic control.
As Grimsvotn continues to release ash into the air, though at a lesser rate than on Saturday, air traffic over the UK, Denmark, and Norway were disrupted. Europe’s air traffic management agency Eurocontrol cancelled about 500 flights altogether on Tuesday.
Last year, the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull caused the large-scale closure of multiple airports and the disruption of more than 100,000 flights. Officials say that this year’s disruption will not reach that scale, thanks to amended rules concerning flights when volcanic ash is present. Eurocontrol officials say that the particles from Grimsvotn are not as small as those emitted from Eyjafjallajokull and will fall from the air at a faster rate, aiding in the shorter disruption time.
According to Siim Kallas, the European Union transport commissioner, widespread air closure is not expected, nor is a prolonged disruption. For now, though, travelers flying airports near Grimsvotn should check with their airlines to find out information about delays and alterations in flight schedules. The flights most affected by the volcanic ash include those going to Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Germany, and the UK.