For nearly a week in April there was no soft
scream of aircraft engines in the UK. Volcanic ash from
Iceland forced the closure of much of the airspace above the country
resulting in most major airports effectively shutting down, causing
major travel disruption. Heathrow Airport, one of the
busiest hubs in the world, was like a ghost town (bottom middle).
Although all flights were cancelled (lower left) and there wasn't a
passenger in site most of the retail units remained open (lower middle),
however all the check in desks were closed (lower left). As
the planes were grounded (left above), there was little or no
requirement for staff transfer buses (left, left bottom) and rail air
services were curtailed (left lower). National Express
though continued to serve the deserted bus station (below bottom right).
The media of course had a field day, encamped at the Renaissance
Hotel directly opposite the airport (lower right).
Eventually common sense prevailed and airspace was re-opened bringing to
an end one of the most unusual occurrences in the UK transport industry.
Click on clips (left) to see a silent Heathrow Airport