In 2010, the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjoell led to the biggest European airspace shutdown since World War Two with one hundred thousand flights across Europe cancelled and eight million passengers stranded.
Over the weekend Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano has been shaken by earthquakes and started a small eruption. Located in south-east Iceland under the country’s largest glacier Vatnajoekull, Bardarbunga rises to more than 2000 metres. It has an ice layer of between 150 and 400 metres thick. So far, there is no indication of imminent flooding caused by glacier melt. There have been fears that this volcano will have the same impact as Eyjafjoell if it erupts.
I fly to Scandinavia in three weeks so I am very keenly concerned!
Iceland has evacuated the area, closed the roads to the area (see below) and suspended all flights in a section of airspace over the glacier. It declared a “Code Red” but downgraded that to “Orange” on Sunday morning. Iceland’s airports remain open. The British Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said that it would not close UK airspace in the event of an eruption. The CAA said it would issue a notice to individual airlines who will decide where to fly.
Here is live feed from three cameras in the area: