Irish and Scottish Airports Closed, Then Opened

May 5, 2010 Updated: May 5, 2010

A new ash cloud from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano shut down airports in Northern Ireland and Scotland on Wednesday, with dozens of flights canceled and thousands of passengers marooned. Authorities later said that flights should be operational by Thursday morning.

Scotland’s Glasgow airport was closed, while its neighbor Edinburgh was operating at reduced capacity. Northern Ireland airports were also closed all afternoon.

In Ireland, regional airports Knock, Sligo, and Donegal were closed until 2 p.m. local time; Dublin airspace was closed during the day and in the evening local time.

British’s Civil Aviation Authority said on Wednesday the no-fly zone would continue to move south and west toward the U.K. overnight with the high density area of the volcanic ash cloud.

“Ash is likely to continue to disrupt U.K. air travel for the foreseeable future,” Andrew Haines, CAA chief executive, said in a statement. “The situation for U.K. airspace, particularly over the North and Scotland, remains unprecedented.”

Scientists are tracking the moving of the ash cloud, but its location changes frequently depending on the strength of eruptions and prevailing winds.

Last month, as Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano spewed plumes of ash that drifted over European airspace, over 100,000 flights were canceled, more than 10 million passengers were affected, and billions of euros were lost by the aviation industry.