2030 hours local - Saturday 15th May 2010: Due to the prevailing weather conditions, and sustained low-level volcanic activity over the past number of days, the volcanic ash cloud is drifting towards Ireland from the North Atlantic. The cloud is likely to be over the west coast early tomorrow morning, and will cover the rest of the country later in the day.
As a result, Sligo, Donegal, and Ireland West (Knock) airports will be open until 0700 hours local tomorrow morning. All other Irish airports will be open until at least 1300 hours local tomorrow.
The IAA is organising observation flights for tomorrow to check on the level of ash concentrate to compare with the levels estimated by the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre. The IAA will then use this data in conjunction with other sources to arrive at a decision on potential airport closures.
The IAA, the UK National Air Traffic Services (NATS) and other Aviation Authorities are constantly reviewing and refining the model used to apply restrictions to airspace. Reviews are based on data from more than 300,000 flight-hours accumulated since the crisis began, on scientific test flights, on engine inspections, ongoing discussions with the aircraft engine manufacturers and reports from Iceland on the geological activity of the volcano.
Last week these reviews led to the removal of a 60-nautical-mile safety zone around the ash cloud, and the IAA is confident that the model will be enhanced again based on the growing body of evidence being gathered everyday.
An update will be provided at 0930 hours local Sunday 16th May 2010 following analysis of the latest information.
Passengers planning to travel by air over the coming days are advised to regularly check their airline websites and the IAA website in advance of going to the airport.
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