Due to a possible eruption in Reykjanes peninsula


When a volcanic eruption occurs in Iceland, pre-determined contingency plans and procedures are adhered to. In the event of an eruption in the Reykjanes peninsula, the following sequence of events takes place among others:

  • Isavia ANS defines a 120 nautical mile danger area around the volcano and guides aircraft out of that area.
  • The Icelandic Meteorological Office issues a so-called SIGMET with information on the ash area, and as a result Isavia ANS cancels the 120 nautical mile danger area around the volcano if there is no other reason to restrict the airspace due to aircraft safety.
  • Isavia ANS publishes a long-term NOTAM (notice to pilots containing the information known about the eruption) in accordance with SIGMET and with useful information for pilots and carriers, e.g. the volcano in question and where information on ash distribution can be found. If there is a reason to restrict the airspace in the immediate vicinity of a volcano, to ensure the safety of aircraft, Isavia ANS has that role and authority to do so.
  • When information on ash-contaminated airspace is available, air carriers that have carried out risk assessments for flights in ash-contaminated airspace (approved by the regulatory body) may decide whether to fly in ash-contaminated airspace at their own risk.

The role of the main institutions in the event of an eruption

The Icelandic Transport Authority (ICETRA) is responsible for the administration and supervision of transport, including aviation activities. The Icelandic Transport Authority supervises Icelandic air carriers, as well as Isavia ANS, which provides air traffic services, and the Icelandic Meteorological Office, which provides meteorological services.

Isavia ANS provides air traffic services and aeronautical information service and provides the necessary information in the event of an eruption, including the publication of the so-called NOTAM, which is a special announcement intended for pilots. Further information can be found on the Isavia ANS website.

The Icelandic Meteorological Office monitors volcanic activity and in the event of an eruption, the Meteorological Office will publish information on where ash is found in the atmosphere or where ash is forecast. To this end, the Meteorological Office publishes a so-called SIGMET. All further information can be found on the Meteorological Office's website www.en.vedur.is and www.en.vedur.is/weather/aviation/sigmet .

In recent days, the above-mentioned parties have reviewed their contingency plans and the Icelandic Transport Authority is closely monitoring the progress of matters.

The rights of passengers due to cancelled flights due to natural disasters can be read on the website of the Icelandic Transport Authority.