Air traffic and the volcano in Geldingadalur


There is a high demand for viewing the eruption at Reykjanes from the air. For safety reasons, a maximum number of aircraft has temporarily been defined for BIR2 (Vestursvaedi). The maximum at any one time is eight aircraft and is based on the best VFR conditions. See valid NOTAM. Attention is drawn to the fact that the maximum applies to the entire BIR2 - not the immediate vicinity of the volcano. When flying in the immediate vicinity of the volcano, pilots must ensure that the number of aircraft is such that flight safety can be ensured. It is also important to pay close attention to other traffic when entering and exiting the area.

Pilots are reminded that separation between VFR traffic within the area is the responsibility of pilots.

The Icelandic Transport Authority makes the following recommendations to pilots when flying in the area:

a) Helicopters should avoid flying above 700 feet AGL
b) Airplanes and ultralights (fis) should avoid flying below 800 AGL
c) drones must not be flown higher than 120 m above the ground (AGL

In addition, ICETRA reiterates the following:

  • according to the rules of the air, VFR flight shall not be flown, unless necessary for take-off and landing
    a) over an open-air assembly of persons at a height less than 1 000 ft above the highest obstacle within a radius of 600 m from the aircraft;
    b) elsewhere than as specified in a), at a height less than 500 ft above the ground or water, ICETRA suggests that that reference be made to the highest obstacle within a radius of 150 m (500 ft) from the aircraft;
  • according to the rules of the air, the weather conditions for class- C airspace are as follows: visibility shall be at least 5 km and distances from clouds shall be at least 1500 m horizontal and 1000 feet (300 m) vertical;
  • Fagradalsfjall is at an altitude of about 1300 feet (390 m);
  • Isavia ANS has published an Aeronautical Information Circular concerning flights in BIR2 during the eruption, to be found here;
  • Isavia ANS issues NOTAMs as needed for airspace restrictions, see here ;
  • The Civil Defense publishes information due to restrictions on drone flights, see here;
  • The Icelandic Transport Authority publishes news and information on our website as well as on social media.