Volcano Shuts Greenland Airspace

In Europe, News Headlines, Volcanoes

A portion of airspace over Greenland has been closed due to ash from an erupting Icelandic volcano, Danish air traffic control officials said.

Naviair spokeswoman Helle Kogsbell says authorities had closed some of Greenland airspace late Sunday “due to the spread of ash from the Icelandic volcano to the east coast of Greenland”.

She said the airspace would remain shut until at least 12:00 (local time) on Monday.

“The space, up to 6,000 metres of altitude, from north of Kulusuk to Constable Point in the east, remains closed to air traffic,” Ms Kogsbell said.

Naviair is responsible for the airspace over Greenland only up to 6,000 metres, while Canada and Iceland have control over airspace above that.

Denmark was the first country besides Iceland to close any airspace after the Grimsvoetn volcano began erupting late Saturday.

But European aviation authorities have been closely monitoring the giant column of ash, amid fears it could wreak havoc on air travel across the continent like last year’s eruption.

European safety experts have warned that the ash could reach Scotland by Tuesday, before sweeping across Britain to hit France and Spain two days later.

Norwegian airport operator Avinor it planned to halt flights between mainland Norway and the country’s Arctic archipelago of Svalbard on Monday.

“The cloud of ash will reach the waters separating continental Norway and Svalbard,” Avinor spokesman Ove Narvesen said.

“There will therefore not be any flights to or from Svalbard today.”

Mr Narvesen, who pointed out the move only affects two scheduled flights, also cautioned that more of Norway might be affected going forward.

“There is a small risk that western Norway will be affected but it is too early to say,” he said.

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