Volcanic Ash Shuts Down Heathrow Airport

london-heathrow-terminal-5Air traffic in Europe has been thrown into chaos once again as volcanic ash cloud from Iceland forced aviation authorities to close several airports, including two of the continent’s busiest passenger hubs. Britain’s National Air Traffic Service ordered London’s Heathrow Airport to stop operations starting 1:00am Monday until 7am.

The Schipol Airport in the Netherlands was also closed, joining other airports in Gatwick, Stansted, and London City. The announcement by the NATS came as airports in the Northern parts of Britain prepare to resume operations after closing for much of Sunday. Airports in Manchester and Liverpool are expected to start operations once restrictions in Heathrow and other southern airports take effect at 1:00am.

The ash cloud comes from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokul volcano, which erupted on April 14. Many European countries shut down their airspace from April 15 to 20 due to the ash cloud, causing more than $2 billion in losses. Aviation authorities prohibit air travel as the ash clouds could clog plane engines.