UPDATED: Ash from Iceland’s Grimsvötn volcanic eruption has forced officials to close Sola and Karmøy airports. All flights and helicopter traffic are cancelled.
Airports authority Avinor is still offering air traffic control services, but Norwegian airlines do not have permission to fly in medium concentrations.
"Met Office charts show the cloud is approaching from the west, and the situation will probably deteriorate during the course of the afternoon," Sola airport manager Leif Anker Lorentzen tells The Foreigner.
It is expected Kjevik airport will close by approximately 14:00 today.
"We are getting some incoming traffic from KLM and Lufthansa, but it is very difficult to say what the carriers will decide to do," he says.
Passengers are advised to check with their airline or travel agent.
Meanwhile, Norwegian scientists are developing intelligent equipment that could detect ash in the atmosphere and be available within the next year.
Sky News reports their wing or tailfin-mounted Airborne Volcanic Object Identifier and Detector (AVOID can warn pilots up to 10 minutes in advance, day or night, giving them the time to fly round any potential ash clouds.
"It is an infra-red device that goes on board the aircraft so it sits outside the wing or the tail fin and views the scene ahead of the aircraft.
"It can image very rapidly so it can provide information on whatever is in front of the aircraft be it normal clouds, clear air or volcanic ash,” says Dr Fred Prata, senior scientist at the Norwegian Institute for Air Research.
Researchers are working with several commercial airlines to test the system, including easyJet.
“Last winter we were told that the heavy snowfall was a once in a lifetime event and then it happened again ten months later. We can’t predict exactly when another volcano will erupt and send an ash cloud into European airspace but we can say with certainty that it will happen at some stage.
“Our industry is better prepared today than it was last year but we need to go further. easyJet is playing its part by working closely with Dr. Fred Prata and his team to progress the development of the AVOID technology,” Ian Davies, Head of Engineering, easyJet, said in a press release.
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