Flights running, uncertainty remains

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Many flights were taking off and landing in Norway on Tuesday, but the unpredictable clouds of ash from Iceland’s latest volcanic eruption left aviation officials unsure how long “ordinary” airline traffic could continue.

“There are changes coming all the time,” Sindre Ånonsen of civil aviation authority Avinor told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) late Tuesday afternoon.

Current evaluations of the ash clouds showed concentrations low enough to revert to unrestricted air traffic at least until 9pm Tuesday evening. The only air traffic that remained disrupted late Tuesday afternoon was helicopter service to North Sea oil fields from Stavanger Lufthavn Sola and flights heading for Svalbard and Scotland. Most of them remained cancelled because of high ash concentration.

State meteorologists were predicting that more ash would move in over western Norway, though, leaving airlines in suspense as to whether they can keep flying.

Most air traffic in and out of Stavanger was halted at 8am on Tuesday but airlines could apply for permission to fly later in the day as ash clouds receded.

Passengers could only be advised to stay in touch with their airlines and report for their flights as scheduled. Avinor offered an overview of current traffic information (external link) on its website, concentrating on flights that were cancelled or delayed, but only in Norwegian. (“Innstilt” means cancelled.)

Oslo’s main airport at Gardermoen had escaped any major disruptions and reported that flights were mostly running as usual with its air space open. Its website was offering an overview of flights from OSL, and in English (external link). Several flights were showing delayed departures, but mostly minor.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
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