ISAVIA, which is responsible for aviation administration in Iceland, has determined that the airspace around the Keflavík International Airport and Reykjavík Domestic Airport will be closed for instrument flying until at least 1 pm today.
Keflavík International Airport. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
Icelandair is assuming that airplanes from Glasgow, Boston, Orlando and Seattle can land at Keflavík in the early afternoon.
The airports in Akureyri in the north and Egilsstadir in the east are not within the ash distribution area and will therefore in all likelihood be open to all air traffic for at least the next 24 hours.
Most international flights have gone through Akureyri in the past days. According to Morgunbladid, as of yesterday, approximately 3,500 passengers had passed through the local airport since Thursday last week.
Icelandair is planning to redirect its connecting flights from Glasgow to Keflavík later today and Gudjón Arngrímsson, the airline’s information officer, said it appears as if the worst is over for now.
According to forecasts, the wind direction will change to the northeast and so it looks as if flights to and from Keflavík will continue as normal at least until after next weekend, said meteorologist Óli Thór Árnason at the Icelandic Meteorological Office.
Árnason said it is difficult to predict wind direction too far in advance. However, the most common wind direction in Iceland is from the east, in which case ash blows over southwest Iceland.
Rain could diminish the impact of the ash but May is usually a dry month, Árnason added.
“There is no way to predict for how long the eruption will last,” said Páll Einarsson, professor in geophysics at the University of Iceland.
Einarsson explained that when the eruption becomes isolated from the water around the crater, phreatic explosions decrease.
However, the magma in the volcano is of the nature that it doesn’t have to come in contact with water for phreatic explosions to happen, which indicates that ash will continue to be produced.
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