Sunday, April 18, 2010

Private Jet Takes Off from London City Airport During No Flight Ban by NATS - An act of irresponsibility?

A private jet took off from London City Airport at around 6.30pm this evening ignoring the flight ban applied by National Air Traffic Systems due to the volcanic dust cloud over the UK.

FTF was advised by a source that private jets are exempt from the ban - but we have been unable to confirm this with official sources. 

However we can confirm that if NATS have applied a flight ban over the UK for safety reasons then it appears entirely irresponsible and reckless to have allowed a private jet to take off from one of the most densely populated areas in the country.  It is particularly worrying when it is reported that "It will not be safe for flights to take place across most of northern Europe on Monday, UK Government ministers have said."

In addition in the Sunday Times: Guy Gratton, head of Cranfield University's facility for airborne atmospheric measurement, took a flight with fellow researchers to gather data. 'Speaking as an aeronautical engineer, I would not want to be putting an airliner up there at the moment,' said Gratton".

Volcanic dust cloud location  can be seen here.

Animated image of volcanic dust cloud here.

Flight activity across Europe can be seen here

Articles on flying through volcanic ash here, and the damage here and here