Canary Islands Volcano: What’s the Operational Impact?

By Rebecca Lougheed




Eruptions have been ongoing since Sep 19 at the Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma in the Canary Islands.

Volcanic Ash

The latest VAAC report (eff 29 Sep 08:55z) shows the ash cloud only up to FL050 around the vicinity of the volcano and GCLA/La Palma airport.

If the wind changes it may impact GCTS/Tenerife airport and arrivals from the south of Tenerife may be impacted.

Thanks to FlightRadar24 for their awesome graphics.

GCLA/La Palma Airport

Operations were suspended at the airport on Sep 19 and again on Sep 25 after ash fall reduced visibility at the airport.

The volcano continues to release ash at low levels, and further short notice closures are possible.

La Palma is an international airport which also serves as an alternate for GCTS/Tenerife and GCLP/Gran Canaria.

The Airspace

UN741 is a major airway for routing south southwest. Currently the ash cloud is not impacting this area.

UN981 is a major northerly routing airway crossing the area of ash, but the level of the ash cloud is not impacting it.

GCCC/Canarias ACC, who control the airspace, have said they currently do not plan to close any airways due to the volcanic activity, but recommend using specific SIDs and STARs if operating to airports in the area – check the ‘Latest News’ section on the NOP homepage for details.

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Rebecca Lougheed

Rebecca Lougheed

I am an OPSGROUP team member, an A380 pilot, and interested in all things flight ops! Based near an undisclosed airfield in England. Question for us? Write to blog.team@ops.group.

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