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STATEMENT from ACI EUROPE…Impact Of Volcanic Ash From Iceland.

STATEMENT from ACI EUROPE on the impact of the current suspension in the use of airspace in parts of Europe due to the spread of volcanic ash from Iceland.  As of 14:30 CET, Friday, 16 April 2010: Airports of all sizes in Ireland, the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Finland and parts of France, Germany and Poland have thus far been directly affected, with disruption expected to move elsewhere in the days ahead.

These airports represent 48% of European air traffic and welcome an average 2 million passengers per day. The ripple effect of flight cancellations and delays is impacting the entire European airport network, resulting in unprecedented disruption.

The airports’ first response has been an information campaign, in collaboration with air carriers, air navigation service providers and national authorities, to ensure that passengers are kept informed of the status of their flight. Their second response has been to ensure the safety and comfort of the passengers caught in the middle of this situation.  Several hub airports are dealing with the needs of transfer passengers
stranded on site, with many providing beds, blankets, bottles of water and medical support and a few also providing free internet and even entertainment, in the case of Amsterdam-Schiphol.

Point-to-point and regional airports are also working with their airline partners and doing everything they can to ensure that passengers are informed as to the status of their flight, in advance of coming to the airport, as well as trying to provide some extra comfort for stranded passengers where appropriate.  The situation is changing every few hours. National aviation authorities are lifting restrictions in a gradual manner. Air
passengers are advised to remain updated by regularly checking the website of their airport of departure and/or contacting their airline.